First Win For Madsen

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BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Kerry Madsen had been waiting a long time to win a World of Outlaws A-Feature event. That wait came to an end on Saturday night in the 36th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speedshop at Volusia Speedway Park, as he claimed the checkered flag in the 25-lap A-Feature.

Madsen, who hails from St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia, won two World of Outlaws preliminary features at Parramatta City Raceway in Australia in 2004. He earned $8,000 on Saturday for his triumph in the second of three consecutive races at Volusia to open the 2007 season. He started on the outside of the front row, after finishing second in the dash, by way of winning the fourth heat.

With the win, Madsen became the second Australian to win a World of Outlaws A-Feature joining Brooke Tatnell, who was one of the first to congratulate his countryman on Saturday night in Victory Lane.

“I’ve been trying to win one of these for a while,” said Madsen, driver of the Selma Shell Maxim. “I’ve won races in Australia and some in New Zealand and it’s great to finally get one in America. My hat is off to the team. Sonny Kratzer put me in a great car.”

Madsen, who has been driving for the team since the mid-point of last season, dedicated the win to his car owner Dave Helm, a native of California, who has been battling health issues recently.

“To be driving for a team that has been around for so long and has such a great history is an honor,” he said. “To get the job done and get a win for Dave will hopefully get his spirits up. This is just a great feeling. I think that is the most gratifying thing right now.”

Madsen led at the drop of the initial green, but before a single lap was complete, the yellow flag flew for Jason Solwold jumping the start. With a complete restart in order, Madsen again powered his way to the high side of turn one and led the opening circuit.

“I got a good jump and I didn’t go before the line, so I was confident they couldn’t penalize me, but you never know,” he commented. “The green never came on, so I thought ‘Uh-oh’ this start is coming back. I thought there was no way that I would get the jump the second time. I must have had a good groove. Danny got around me and I started trying even harder and the groove started coming in on the bottom. We got back by him and that was pretty much it.”

Danny Lasoski, found the high side of the track to his liking on the second lap, as he powered his way around Madsen. He led four laps before Madsen retook the point. Lasoski battled back for a number of laps and made a late charge, turning the fastest lap of the race on the 24th circuit.

“We’re happy,” said Lasoski, driver of the Roth Motorsports Eagle. “Dennis Roth gave us a great race car. The bottom line is that I gave it away. I got the lead on the top and what I should have done was go back to the bottom. I kept looking down there to see if had darkened up to lay rubber and I am a smarter racer than that.”

Donny Schatz the reigning World of Outlaws Champion who won on Friday night, started sixth and was up to third on the second lap. He charged around Lasoski to take the second spot on lap six and quickly closed on Madsen. The trio got into heavy traffic and Lasoski was able to get back around Schatz, who wound up third.

“We didn’t have the greatest run in the dash and that put us behind a little bit,” said Schatz, driver of the Parker Store J&J. “Maybe if we would have started in the second row we would have been better off, but we got as many cars as we could. We were racing two and three wide when the rubber laid down. I tried everything I could. I kept trying and trying and probably tried more than I should.”

Craig Dollansky picked up his second top five of the season as he powered his way to a fourth-place finish on Saturday night. He had one of the fastest cars at the end of the race as he closed in on Lasoski and Schatz.

“We had a pretty good race car,” said Dollansky, driver of the Karavan Trailers Maxim. “I’m sure they will work on the track tonight and it will be better tomorrow. It was a good run for the Karavan team.”

Sam Hafertepe Jr. earned his best career World of Outlaws finish with a fifth on Saturday night. He started from the pole position after he won his first World of Outlaws dash. He also won his first World of Outlaws heat race earlier in the night. For the native of Sunnyvale, Texas, it was only his 16th start in a 410-sprint car.

“We are pretty pleased with the night,” said Hafertepe. “We set the car up a little looser for the beginning, because I thought we would have a lot tighter race track than we had at the beginning. It hurt us a little at the beginning, but a fifth-place finish tonight, I am not ashamed of that at all. It really pumps me up to know that we can run up front with these guys.”

The rest of the top 10 was: Dusty Zomer in the Bargain Barn Tire Schnee in sixth, Paul McMahan in the Bass Pro Shops Eagle in seventh, Brooke Tatnell was eighth in the Volcano Joe’s Coffee Schnee, Terry McCarl was ninth in the Big Game Treestands Eagle, and Joey Saldana was 10th in the Open Joist JEI.

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