Concord, NC — Kerry Madsen saved his best for last on Saturday as he scored an impressive win in the 40-lap Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at the Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia. After the first day of the two-day event was postponed by rain, Madsen and the rest of the competitors completed two full programs beginning on Saturday afternoon and wrapping up Saturday evening.
The native of Sydney, who will be competing for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this season with the World of Outlaws, claimed the $30,000 top prize for his second career triumph in the famed event.
Madsen started in the 11th spot on the grid, and steadily powered his way to the front. He took the lead from Brooke Tatnell, who led from the opening green flag, on a restart with 12 laps to go, with a first turn pass, and stayed out front the rest of the way. Tatnell, who started from the pole position, nursed his car to a runner-up finish with a dislodged front wing and a smoking engine. Earlier in the day, Tatnell claimed the 25-lap preliminary feature.
Shane Stewart, the 2005 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, turned in a very solid run to earn the final podium position. He also was third in the preliminary feature during the afternoon portion of the event.
Daryn Pittman, who won the Kings Challenge at Borderline Raceway on Thursday, finished in the fourth spot, after starting 17th by racing his way into the A-Feature by way of the B-Main.
Reigning World of Outlaws Champions Donny Schatz wrapped up his stay Down Under, with a charge to sixth, after racing his way into the Grand Annual Classic by winning the B-Main to line up 17th for the 40-lapper.
Paul McMahan also was in action on Saturday, and saw his night come to and end due to an opening lap incident.
In preliminary action for the nightcap on Saturday, Madsen was third in the first heat race, with Tatnell one spot behind him. Stewart was second in the third heat. Schatz came home second in the fourth heat. Madsen won the sixth heat. Tatnell was victorious in the seventh heat, with McMahan one spot behind him. Pittman finished third in the eighth heat with Schatz in fourth. Stewart won the 10th and final heat. In time trials held at the beginning of the afternoon, Tatnell was the fastest of the 53 cars that signed in.
The Grand Annual Classic also served as an international qualifier for the Knoxville World Challenge that will be held on Friday August 10 as part of the Knoxville Nationals. All drivers competing at Warrnambool are inversion-eligible for the $10,000-to-win Knoxville World Challenge.
The 2007 World of Outlaws season opens on February 9 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida with the 36th Annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented By Mopar Speedshop.