Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Makes In Five Wins In 2019 And His Second ASCS Speedweek Title
Bryan Hulbert - SUNNYVALE, Texas (June 10, 2019) Bringing his win total on the year to five, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. captured his second ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek title this past week. Despite battling with Mother Nature throughout the five-race series, three on track appearances netted just as many podium finishes, along with a pair of wins in Lawton, Okla. and Salina, Kan.
"I'm really pleased with the speed we gained over this past week. Really, over the past four weeks we've started settling in on what our cars like," commented Hafertepe on his recent performances. "With these new cars we've been running, I really thought it was going to take longer to get some wins, but it seems like they've been reacting really well to the changes we've been making, and everything is starting to click really well."
Rained out in Amarillo, the action picked up on Tuesday, June 4 at Devil's Bowl Speedway with a third-place finish after battling with Travis Rilat for the race lead.
"We freed the car up for the feature, and even before I went out, I said I don't think it matters how much we free it up, it's not going to be enough. I've raced Devi's Bowl enough, I pretty much know how it's going to turn out and it was one of those tracks where it got heavy, rough, and technical as the night went on, which doesn't suit my program at all. We missed a race earlier this year because the tracks were heavy and rough, but with the experience I have around that place, we were able to salvage a good finish."
Back on a wide slick track the following night at Lawton Speedway, Hafertepe was challenged for a moment during the A-Feature by Scott Bogucki but was able to get back to the top spot before it was all said and done on a track that proved to be tricky and caught several teams off guard.
"We knew what we were looking at, and still weren't very good for it," commented Hafertepe on the feel of the car. "Overall, we were good, and the track was more suited to what we like. The one restart where I moved down, I knew I shouldn't have second guessed myself and we were lucky we were good enough that we could be back around Scott without having to chase him for a bunch of laps."
Suffering rain again at Creek County Speedway, the team rolled into Salina Speedway on Saturday where Sam was able to hold off several attempts by John Carney II in the closing laps for his first victory at the three-eighths-mile oval. Key to that success was Sam's ability to move around in the third and fourth turns where most of the field was stuck to the bottom line.
"I went back and watch the race, and in all honesty, I don't think anybody trusted it out there, and I had been pinching off the bottom of four the entire race until I got to lapped traffic. I would make up a bunch of time on them entering, but they'd just leave me off the exit. Seeing that, I started making the adjustment in the car and because we did lap so many cars, I just don't think they saw what I saw, and that allowed us to capitalize and get off the bottom where there just wasn't much left."
Coming up next for Hafertepe, the team will begin the trek to the Northwest with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network with this weekend landing the team in Aberdeen, S.D. for Brown County Speedway on Friday, June 14 and Rapid City, S.D. on Saturday, June 15 for Black Hills Speedway.
For continued updates on Sam Hafertepe, Jr. log onto http://www.sam15.com and make sure to find him on Twitter (@samhafertepejr). For news on Hill's Racing Team, log onto https://www.facebook.com/hillsracing/ and on Twitter (@HillsRacingTeam).
2019 Season to Date:
Events: 18; Wins -5 ; Top 5 - 10; Top 10 - 12; Top 20 - 13;
June 14 - Brown County Speedway (Aberdeen, S.D.)
June 15 - Black Hills Speedway (Rapid City, S.D.)
Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Online:
Hill's Racing Team, Townline Variety, Heidbreder Foundation Service, Kiebler & Sons Lawn and Landscaping, Fisher Racing Engines, Super Shox, J&J Chassis, Smiley's Racing Products, Hoosier Tire, Huggins Cams, Champion Oil, The Sparks Family, Lonestar Speedway, Keizer Wheels, XYZ Machining, Simpson Racing Products, CP-Carrillo, KSE Power Steering, FK Rod Ends, BMRS, Allstar Performance, Saldana Racing Products, Vortex Wings, DMI, Wilwood Brakes, Kinsler Fuel Injection, Hwy. 79 Collision.
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Contact: Ben Shelton (email@example.com)
June 11, 2019
Dereck Ramirez Rumbles to Route 66 Victory
Preps for Masters at Cedar Lake Speedway
Woodward, Oklahoma (06/11/19) – Dereck Ramirez rumbled to his third victory of 2019 over the weekend in his Ramirez Motorsports No. 4r Boom Test Well Services/ Hughes Race Car/Cornett Racing Engine Open Wheel Modified.
The triumph came on Saturday night at Amarillo’s Route 66 Motor Speedway.
“Wow, what a race that Jake [Gallardo] and I had for the win. That was truly a lot of fun,” Ramirez said. “Right now, we are having possible our best year ever. We are more consistent and have more speed than I can ever remember. Heading into the Masters at Cedar Lake this weekend we are really excited. We had a real good run in this event last year, so hopefully this year we can go and grab a big win.”
Dereck Ramirez followed the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) to Superbowl Speedway (Greenville, Texas) on Tuesday night to do battle for the $2,500 top prize. After starting the night with an 8-lap heat race victory, Ramirez was an early retiree from the 40-lap feature on lap-25.
After Mother Nature continued to hamper the USMTS season on Wednesday and Thursday, Dereck headed to West Texas Raceway (Lubbock, Texas) on Friday night where he secured his spot into the $3,000-to-win A-Main with a heat victory. Rolling off seventh, Ramirez improved five spots in the 40-lapper reeling in a runner-up finish behind Ryan Gustin with Jake O’Neil, Jake Gallardo, and Terry Phillips rounding out the Top-5.
The following night at Route 66 Motor Speedway (Amarillo, Texas) for the 10th annual Amarillo Ambush, Ramirez advanced two spots in his heat to pick up the win. Earning the fourth-starting position for the A-Main, Dereck and Jake Gallardo swapped the lead throughout the first 10 circuits until Ramirez grabbed the top spot for good on lap-11. The Oklahoma racer paced the field for the remaining 29 laps en route to his third win of the season and a $3,000 prize. Jake O’Neil, Rodney Sanders, Kale Westover, and Jake Gallardo trailed him to the checkers in the 40-lap affair.
Dereck has climbed to third in the latest USMTS point standings. Complete results from these events as well as the latest standings are available at www.USMTS.com .
This weekend – June 13-15 – the team treks north to Cedar Lake Speedway for the annual Masters. A new format awaits the competitors this year with three complete shows. On Thursday night action opens with a $3,000-to-win program, while Friday night’s program posts a $5,000 winner’s check. The United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) weekend draws to a close on Saturday night with a $10,000-ot-win finale.
For more information on the event, please visit www.CedarLakeSpeedway.com .
Dereck Ramirez and Ramirez Motorsports would like to thank all of their sponsors and supporters including Power Rig LLC, Boom-Test Well Service, Koda Services, Ohlins Shocks, Sybesma Graphics, Raw Truck Wash, Cornett Racing Engines, West Oak Production Services, Midwest Refrigeration, Red Bone Fishing and Rental, VP Racing Fuels, Hughes Race Cars, and MSRMafia.com Marketing Services.
For the latest information on Dereck Ramirez, please visit www.DereckRamirez.com .
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June 11, 2019
Ricky Weiss Scores Dream Prelim Win; Finishes Seventh in Finale
Smoky Mountain Speedway on Deck for This Saturday
Headingley, Manitoba, Canada (06/11/19) – Ricky Weiss enjoyed a breakout weekend at Eldora Speedway, which included a prelim victory on Thursday night in his Derrick’s Sandblasting No. 7w Kakela Farms/ J&C Properties/ Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car/ Vic Hill Race Engine Super Late Model.
While the Canadian racer was pleased with his weekend performance, he was left wondering what might have been if a late-race restart in Saturday night’s mega finale had gone a little different.
“If you had told me that we were going to finish in the Top-10 before we came here, I would’ve been quite happy with that. But after running all those laps having the speed we had, it’s a little disappointing to not finish better,” Weiss said. “There late in the race we were in contention, but I got moved up the track on a restart, and it cost us big time. If I could’ve stayed in the Top 3 there, I think we had a shot at the win.
“Even though I’m a little disappointed, it was still a phenomenal weekend for this team. I want to thank my family, my team, my sponsors, my fans, and everyone who supports me and makes this possible.”
Kicking off the 25th annual Dirt Late Model Dream, Ricky Weiss was one of 92 Super Late Model competitors on hand at Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, Ohio) on Thursday evening. After laying down the 15th-fastest lap in his time trial group, Weiss streaked to a 10-lap heat race victory, which positioned him fourth on the starting grid for the opening night feature. Sliding past Jacob Hawkins for the lead on the 11th lap, Ricky went on to pick up his fourth win of the season in the 25-lapper, topping Chris Madden, Jacob Hawkins, Dale McDowell, and Jimmy Owens. He earned a $10,000 payday for his triumph.
The following night with another round of preliminary features on the docket, Weiss advanced two positions in his heat race to pick up the 10-lap win. Starting the $10,000-to-win A-Main in the fifth position, Ricky gained two positions in the 25-lap affair to place third behind Jonathan Davenport and Kent Robinson with Darrell Lanigan and Jimmy Owens competing the Top-5 finishers.
On Saturday evening for the 25th annual Dirt Late Model Dream, Ricky secured his spot into the $125,000-to-win finale with a second-place finish in his heat behind Jonathan Blankenship. Rolling off eighth, Weiss ran in the Top-5 for the majority of the 100-lap affair until fading after a restart on lap-82. He ultimately crossed the finish line in the seventh position.
For full results from the weekend, please visit www.EldoraSpeedway.com .
This Saturday Ricky will return to the driver’s seat at Smoky Mountain Speedway (Maryville, Tennessee) in a $15,000-to-win event with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS).
For more information on the event, please visit www.LucasDirt.com .
Ricky Weiss would like to thank his marketing partners and sponsors including Derrick's Sandblasting, J&C Properties, Kakela Farms, G-Style Transport, Collins Brothers Towing, Winkler Canvas, Global Enterprises Inc., Wiesner Trucking, Sweet Bloomquist Race Cars, RDW Recycling, Straight Ahead Ventures Inc., Keewatin Truck Service, Rod Fehr Racing, Team Red Line Graphix, Penske Racing Shocks, Turk Enterprises, Hawkeye Construction, Forks Mobile Wash, Vic Hill Race Engines, Mark Brandt Trucking, Fastenal, Schaeffer’s Racing Oil, Go Lithium Batteries, Aldon Auto Recycled Auto & Truck Parts, Innovative Auto & Diesel Performance, Allied Roofing Inc., FK Rod Ends, FastShafts, Beyea Custom Headers, Arizona Sport Shirts, Base Racing, Fuels, Swift Springs, Allstar Performance, and MSRMafia.com Marketing Services.
For more information on Ricky Weiss please visit his website at www.WeissRacing7.com .
For Immediate Release
Ben Shelton (email@example.com)
June 11, 2019
Cory Hedgecock Hustles to Fourth-Straight J.T. Kerr Memorial Win
Smoky Mountain Speedway Up Next
Loudon, Tennessee (06/11/19) – Another year and another J.T. Kerr Memorial victory for Cory Hedgecock. The chauffer of the Cushman No. 23 K&P Used Cars/ Hidden View Lake/ XR1 Rocket Chassis/ Eagle Racing Engine Late Model pocketed $5,000 on Saturday at 411 Motor Speedway for his fourth-straight win in the coveted event.
The triumph with the American rate All Star Series increased his 2019-win tally to nine.
“It was another fantastic night for our team. This hot rod is just rolling right now,” Hedgecock declared. “There were a lot of talented drivers in that field. I don’t think we necessarily had the fastest car in the pits tonight, but it played out perfect for us and I’m not complaining.
“Thanks to all of our sponsors for their awesome support. We’re now focused on getting ready for next weekend.”
Cory Hedgecock was one of 32 American Crate All-Star Series entries on hand at 411 Motor Speedway (Seymour, Tennessee) on Saturday night for the J.T. Kerr Memorial. After posting the fourth-fastest time in qualifying, Hedgecock streaked to a 6-lap Dash victory, which positioned him on the pole for the main event.
Controlling the top spot throughout the caution-plagued 40-lap affair, Cory cruised to his ninth win of the season, which came over Jesse Lowe, Tyler Arrington, Jensen Ford, and Chris Chandler. He pocketed a $5,000 payday for his efforts.
For more results from this event, please visit www.AmericanCrateAllStarSeries.com .
The team plans to enter a single event this coming weekend. On Saturday night he’ll go after his tenth win of the season with a Limited Late Model venture at Smoky Mountain Speedway (Maryville, Tennessee).
For more information on the event, please visit www.SmokyMountainSpeedway.com .
Cory Hedgecock would like to thank all of his sponsors, which include Cushman, Rocket Chassis, Five Star Hyundai, Eagle Racing Engines, K&P Used Cars, Hidden View Lake, Budget Transmissions, VP Racing Fuels, VooDoo Technology, Timeless Memories Photography, Hoosier Racing Tires, CFYA, Wells Racing Photography, Strange Oval Racing, High Velocity Heads, Wilds Race Products, Crowder Small Engines, Jesel Valve Train Innovation, Stealth Racing Carburetors, QuickCar, Bicknell Racing Products, MSD Ignition, CV Products, CP Pistons, Boydbilt, Ohlins Shocks, Winters Performance, Integra Shocks & Springs, Brucebilt Performance, Wiles Driveshafts, Simpson Race Products, Martel Signs and MSRMafia.com Marketing Services.
For more information on Cory Hedgecock, please visit the team’s official website at www.CoryHedgecock23.com as well as social media outlets at https://www.facebook.com/Cory-Hedgecock-Motorsports-166540363452544 and https://twitter.com/Hedgecock23 .
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Contact: Ben Shelton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
June 11, 2019
Dustin Strand Sweeps Action at Red River Co-op Speedway
Set for Three Race Weekend
Grand Forks, North Dakota (06/11/19) – Dustin Strand made a clean sweep of the racing action on Thursday night at Red River Co-op Speedway in his Q&Z Plumbing & Heating #71 Keewatin Truck Service/ Walhalla Builders/ Millenium Chassis Late Model.
The victory was his first of the year in the Late Model and his second triumph overall on the season.
“Everything went flawlessly on Thursday night at Red River Co-op Speedway and we were able to get our first Late Model win of the season,” Strand noted. “On Friday night, I had a brain failure in the heat race and got into the wall. The team had to thrash to get the car repaired in time for us to start last in the feature. I was able to drive to a ninth-place finish, but all of the credit goes to my team for busting their tails to get the car back in one piece.”
On Thursday evening Dustin Strand traveled to Red River Co-op Speedway (Winnipeg, Manitoba), where he was piloting his Keewatin Truck Service No. 71 Late Model entry. Gaining one spot in his heat, Strand scored an 8-lap heat race victory, which positioned him sixth on the starting grid for the A-Main.
Soaring to his second win of the season, Dustin topped Shane Edginton, Mike Balcaen, Jesse Teunis, and Walt Morris at the line in the 20-lap affair.
On Friday night at River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, North Dakota) in a field of 22 Northern Late Model Racing Association (NLRA) entries, Dustin sustained heavy damage in his heat race after making contact with the wall, but his crew was able to get the car ready for the $1,200-to-win A-Main. Wheeling his way into the Top-10, Strand passed 13 cars in the 25-lapper to place ninth.
Saturday’s program at Devil’s Lake Speedway (Doyon, North Dakota) was rained out.
For full results from the weekend’s events, please visit www.RedRiverCoopSpeedway.ca and www.NLRA.org .
The upcoming weekend will be a busy one for Strand Racing. On Thursday night Dustin will look to win for the second-straight week at Red River Co-op Speedway before invading River Cities Speedway on Friday night. The weekend will draw to a close with an NLRA Late Model event at Devil’s Lake Speedway on Saturday night.
Dustin Strand would like to thank all of his sponsors including RHRSwag.com, RHR Brew, Q&Z Plumbing & Heating, Keewatin Truck Service, Naastad Acres, Walhalla Builders, Newgard Insurance, McCaughen Builders, Generations Salon & Spa, Sam’s Auto Body, Bemidji Welders Supply, RH Rebel Storage, Ben Adams Racing Engines, Forest Flying Service, Altru’s Sports Advantage powered by EXOS, Parallel Technologies Inc., Troy Pecka Trucking, and MSRMafia.com Marketing Services.
For more information on Dustin Strand, please visit his official internet home at www.StrandRacing.com .
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ben Shelton (email@example.com)
June 11, 2019
Logan Roberson Returns to Victory Lane at Elkins Raceway
Potomac Speedway and Virginia Motor Speedway Up Next
Waynesboro, Virginia (06/11/19) – Logan Roberson returned to familiar territory on Friday night. He parked his Wynbridge Inc. No. 17 BTS Towing Service/ XR1 Rocket Chassis Crate Late Model in Victory Lane at West Virginia’s Elkins Raceway.
The win marked his seventh of the year.
“Our team had another good weekend. We got the win on Friday night at Elkins with a last-lap pass, and we weren’t bad on Saturday at Winchester, we just came up a little short at the line in both classes,” Roberson said. “Honestly though, everything from the weekend seems inconsequential after learning today that Billy Vacek passed away last night.
“Billy was very close to us and instrumental in the success of the early years of my career as we worked together with him and the MBH chassis. There are really no words to sum up the pain in our hearts right now. Please send your prayers to the family and close friends of Billy.
Logan Roberson invaded Elkins Raceway (Kerens, West Virginia) on Friday evening, where he returned to the driver’s seat of his Dirt Defender No. 17 Crate Late Model entry. Earning the eighth-starting position for the A-Main via preliminary events, Roberson tracked down Michael Bland on the final lap and overtook him on the high-side en route to his seventh win of the season. Bland, Billy Beachler, A.J. Spagnuolo, and Garrett Paugh trailed him to the checkers.
The following night, Logan pulled double duty in the Crate and Limited Late Model ranks at Winchester Speedway (Winchester, Virginia). He landed a fourth-place finish in the Limited feature, trailing Derick Quade, Justin Weaver, and Jonathan DeHaven across the line.
Later that evening, Roberson charged from the seventh-starting spot in the Crate Late Model A-Main to the front but came up short at the line to finish second behind Jakob Piper. Devin Brannon, Kyle Lear, and Jennae Piper rounded out the Top-5.
For full results from this event, please visit www.WinchesterVASpeedway.com .
The upcoming weekend – June 14-15 – will find Roberson entering a pair of events. On Friday night a $1,000 top prize will be on the line at Potomac Speedway (Budd’s Creek, Maryland). Saturday night takes the team to Virginia Motor Speedway, for a $3,000-to-win, Fastrak Pro Late Model Series event.
For more information on the weekend’s events, please visit www.PotomacSpeedway.com and www.VaMotorSpeedway.com .
Race fans also make sure to check out the “Apparel” page at www.LoganRoberson.com as the brand-new shirts and diecasts are now available for online purchase. Get them before they are gone!
Logan Roberson would like to thank his marketing partners, which include Wynbridge Inc., Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farm & Bucking Stock, Pancho’s Racing Products, Wells Custom Jeep, BTS Towing Service, Virginia Motor Speedway’s Fastrak World Championship, Blue Ridge Treescape Service, Dirt Defender, Walker Arthur Racing, Beyea Custom Headers, Boyd Bilt, QA1, Keyser Manufacturing, All About Wraps, Rocket Chassis, Race 1, Kaylor’s Dirt Track Cams, Russ King Racing, Hoosier Tire by Terry Wilcher, Smiley’s Racing Enterprises, and MSRMafia.com Marketing Services.
For the latest information on Logan Roberson, please visit www.LoganRoberson.com as well the team’s social media channels at www.facebook.com/Loganrobersonracing/ and www.twitter.com/ThuggNasty17 .
Bacon Storms the East!
Lonnie Wheatley, WINCHESTER, Ind. (June 11, 2019) – USAC’s Eastern Storm. It’s been good for Brady Bacon in recent years. He’s hoping for more Eastern Storm success beginning on Tuesday night at Grandview Speedway.
Bacon and the Hoffman Racing / Mean Green No. 69 will be in action over the five race USAC National Sprint Car swing through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Bacon will also take the wheel of the Klatt Enterprises No. 6 USAC Silver Crown car for Friday’s card at Williams Grove Speedway.
Following Tuesday night’s Eastern Storm opener at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, PA, Eastern Storm action shifts to New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway on Wednesday, BAPS Motor Speedway in Newberrytown, PA, on Thursday, Central Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway on Saturday and New York’s Weedsport Speedway on Sunday.
“This is one of the highlights of year, I always look forward to going to these tracks,” Bacon commented. “Eastern Storm has been good for us before so we’re hoping to continue that this year.”
Bacon captured the Eastern Storm crown in 2014 and has claimed three wins during the swing.
The two-time USAC National Sprint Car champion enters Eastern Storm action sixth in points but only 75 points off the lead pace.
Bacon’s USAC Indiana Midget Week didn’t go entirely as planned last week, with electrical problems on Daryl Saucier’s No. 1st Midget hampering the team through three nights.
“We couldn’t diagnose exactly what the issue was, so we never really got the car running right,” Bacon said.
After opting to park it after three nights, Bacon rejoined forces with the FMR No. 76m for the Bloomington and Lawrenceburg rounds before the Kokomo final was rained out. Bacon made the most of it by racking up a pair of top-ten finishes with runs of sixth at Bloomington and eighth at Lawrenceburg.
Bacon mixed in three Non-Wing Sprint Car starts during the course of Midget Week as well aboard the Longworth No. 410, racing to finishes of fourth at Montpelier Motor Speedway and second at both Gas City and Lawrenceburg
“We probably should have won at Lawrenceburg, but we had an oil line loose it was blowing oil,” Bacon recalls. “I was trying to run it just hard enough to stay out front but not so hard that it would blow, then Thomas (Meseraull) got us in traffic.”
With one USAC Sprint Car win to his credit already this season, Bacon looks to add to that total this week while also going after a Silver Crown score.
Brady Bacon Racing is bolstered by the support of partners including Mean Green, Fatheadz Eyewear, Imperial Wagyu Beef, Gene Franckowiak, Drivewfx.com, Tel-Star Technologies, B&S Cattle, Lykins Oil, Elliott’s Custom Trailers, Triple X Race Co., Hoosier Tire, XYZ Machine, Factor4, Heath Clips Lawn Care, FK Indy, Engler Machine and Tool, Lucas Oil, FK Rod Ends, Keizer Wheels, Purple Heart Foundation, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Smiley’s Racing Products, DMI, Walker Filters, ProGlide Coatings, Chalk Stixx, Wilwood Engineering, Lajoie Seats, Smith Precision Products, Allstar Performance, Simpson Racing Products, Driver Websites, Schroth Racing, Saldana Racing Products, KSE Racing Products, King Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers.
2019 Quick Stats: 42 races, 2 wins, 17 top-fives, 25 top-tens.
Up Next: USAC Eastern Storm. Those unable to attend can catch all the action live via PPV at www.floracing.tv.
Tuesday – USAC Sprint Cars at Grandview Speedway (Bechtelsville, PA)
Wednesday – USAC Sprint Cars at Bridgeport (NJ) Speedway
Thursday – USAC Sprint Cars at BAPS Motor Speedway (Newberrytown, PA)
Friday – USAC Silver Crown at Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday – USAC Sprint Cars at Port Royal (PA) Speedway
Sunday – USAC Sprint Cars at Weedsport (NY) Speedway
Keep Track: Keep track of Brady Bacon’s on-track action including schedule and results at http://www.bradybaconracing.com/, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Brady-Bacon-278125555137/ and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BradyBaconRacin.
If you would like Brady Bacon Racing press releases e-mailed directly to you, send your e-mail address to Lonnie Wheatley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Penning the recurring series of “The Wheatley Chronicles” articles on www.sprintcarmania.com, Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for select tracks, drivers and events. For more information, Wheatley may be contacted at email@example.com.
At a Glance: Eyeing Knoxville
Brothers Ian and Kerry Madsen look to take advantage of Knoxville experience
Aussies Ian and Kerry Madsen are heading home. Not to Australia. Their other home – Knoxville, Iowa.
When the Madsen brothers moved to America, they landed in the Marion County city of 7,000 people. Their reason?
“It’s kind of the center of the Sprint Car Universe,” said Kerry Madsen, the elder of the two brothers.
The core of that universe is Knoxville Raceway – a half-mile track that’s turned heroes of the Sprint Car world into legends. And the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is returning to the iconic track for the first time this season on Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15 for the Brownells Big Guns Bash.
Since starting their 410 Sprint Car careers at the raceway in the early 2000s, both Madsen brothers have found success there. Kerry Madsen won the 2005 track championship and has 21 career Feature wins at the raceway – including a World of Outlaws Feature win. He was leading the points at the raceway before skipping the latest race to compete with the World of Outlaws at Granite City Speedway.
“I’ve always loved Knoxville,” Kerry Madsen said. “Fun place to race. Great crowd. Obviously tuning up for later in the year (for the prestigious Knoxville Nationals). Looking forward to it.”
Ian Madsen won the track championship in 2014 and 2017. He has 12 career Feature victories at the track, but is still seeking his first World of Outlaws Feature win there. A win this weekend would go a long way for Madsen and his KCP Racing team.
Madsen, the 2018 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, claimed his fourth career Series win at Thunderbowl Raceway in March, but he has been searching for a return to the top-five since the beginning of April. Lately, his results have been a mix of top-10 and top-15 finishes.
“The last few weeks have been pretty rough,” Ian Madsen said. “We’ve had a lot of bad luck. I feel like a lot of it has been out of our control. We just really need to get a good night in and turn our luck around. I think if we just get some luck on our side it’ll take care of itself.”
Along with getting to go home, Madsen said he’s happy to get back to a bigger track after spending the last month mostly on smaller tracks.
“That’s what’s good about the Outlaws, you get to mix it up on all sorts of different tracks,” Madsen said. “Knoxville is the best track in the country, I feel. I look forward to going there.”
Kerry Madsen shares Ian’s sentiment, stating he enjoys the bigger tracks and loves the dedication people in Knoxville have to Sprint Car racing.
Not running full-time with the World of Outlaws, unlike Ian, Kerry Madsen said his one goal every race is to just win.
“Pretty simple,” he said with a grin.
His season this year started off slow, barely cracking the top-10, but lately Kerry and his team have found their rhythm, clicking off top-five finishes more consistently – including two podium finishes in his last five races.
While both he and Ian will be eyeing the win at Knoxville, the brothers don’t let the competition get between them. While many drivers isolate themselves to just their team during a race weekend, every time the Madsen brothers are at the same track its guaranteed you’ll find them together throughout the night.
“We’re always pretty close together,” Ian Madsen said. “It can get pretty lonely out here sometimes. So, it’s good to have him out here to hang out with on the off nights and stuff like that. I enjoy being out here with him. It’s just cool we can both be out here at the same time.”
Before Ian began his racing career at Knoxville, he worked on Kerry’s team.
“We’ve always been fairly close that way,” Kerry Madsen said.
While they’re close, and will share anecdotes about their race car, they’re still competitive. Advice isn’t always shared. For more than one reason, too.
“I try not to give him too much advice,” Kerry Madsen said. “I feel like I try to tell him something and it back fires and he ends up going slower. I just let him figure it out.”