(Bill W) March 28, 2012 – The weather keeps playing tricks on the World of Outlaws trip to California. The Friday night portion of the Mini-Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico was run, and Kerry Madsen and the Keneric Racing #29 team was in action. Saturday’s finale was canceled. The WoO heads to Merced Speedway in Merced and the Calistoga Speedway in Calistoga this weekend as the western swing concludes for them.
The quarter-mile bullring in Chico yielded a one-lane racetrack by night’s end on Friday, and Kerry’s 31st quick qualifying effort made the night a struggle. “We were actually good in hot laps,” he says. “But it was absolute driver error in the two laps of qualifying. On the first lap I got a rut. On the second lap one and two were good and I pushed hard into the marbles in three and four.”
Despite a starting spot (row four) deep in the heat race field, Kerry quickly moved up into a transfer spot and then some. “We were actually really good in the heat race,” he says. “We started eighth, and got up to fourth, and were challenging for third. But we lost a couple of spots on the double-file restart, and by that time the rubber had started getting down.”
Kerry finished fifth, and was fortunate to have run in the third heat. “We still transferred (to the feature) which was good,” he says. “I think if we would have started at the back of the fourth heat race with the track the way it was, we never would have transferred. And there was zero passing in the B.”
The St. Mary’s, New South Wales driver started last and finished 19th. “It was the worst rubber down track I’ve been on in a long time,” says Kerry of the feature track surface. “No one was lapped. I started 24th, finished 19th and was hard-charger if that makes any sense. I commented to (Crew Chief) Rob (Hart) afterwards that the car was excellent. It was me who buried us in a tough spot in qualifying.”
The finish was the best the team could have expected on a track that didn’t even see a car lapped. “A lot of times you can rally back after that,” says Kerry. “But the track didn’t lend to it. We’ll take what we got and we’ll move forward. Every race, our communication is getting stronger. It’s not the end of the world. It wasn’t the world’s worst night. We just didn’t get a good result.”
The Merced event is scheduled for Friday, with Calistoga’s half-mile scheduled for Saturday. “We’re excited to get there,” says Kerry. “This time of year, you never know the way the weather will be. Since I’ve been coming to America, I’ve never known it to be different this time of year. 30-40% of the races are usually rained out.”
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Kerry Madsen (KMR / Keneric Racing), Bob & Peter Gavranich (Keneric Racing), Earthex, Morrison Motors, KPC Chassis.