Madsen Wins Ironman 55

Mark Funderburk photo

Madsen celebrates in Victory Lane for the fifth time this season. (Photo: Mark Funderburk)

Race Results

Kerry Madsen proved to be the strongest man Saturday night at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, leading 35 laps and holding back his fiercest competition to win the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series’ Federated Auto Parts Ironman 55 presented by Walker.

Madsen, who started the main event in sixth, worked his way forward, eventually getting around Paul McMahan, who led one lap early, and then leader Donny Schatz on a restart on lap 20. This was Madsen’s fifth win of the season.

“It feels bloody awesome! I can’t believe it! This is one of the races you want to win,” Madsen said. “Man, that track, I just hammered down man. That was a lot of fun.”

Madsen, who earlier in the night scored his fifth quick time of the season, said as the 55-lap A main wound down he began waiting for a challenge from second place Schatz, who he knew was coming for him.

“It’s bloody Donny Schatz behind you - you can’t make a mistake,” Madsen said. “I was very comfortable until I started slowing down in lapped traffic. And actually, believe it or not, when Jason Sides caught me back I thought it was Donny and I was just trying as hard as I could… I saw it was Jason and I was like, oh that’s alright, he’s just blocking the hole for me.”

“I’ve got to admit the fun was starting to get over when I was going, come on checkered, this has got to be coming. I just kept plowing away. Man that checkered flag didn’t fall early enough for me that’s for sure.”

Madsen thanked his sponsor American Racing Custom Wheels, owners Peter and Bob Gavranich, his crew chief Tyler Swank and crew members Brandon Ikenberry and Chris Bowe.

“What a race! I can’t believe we won that. That’s a lot of fun.”

In addition to bragging rights, Madsen won $20,000. This is his fifth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win of the season – earlier in the year, he claimed the coveted Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. Madsen is fourth in the race for the championship, 313 points out of the lead.

Brad Sweet and Paul McMahan led the field to the green flag, but it was fourth place starting Schatz who quickly jumped forward. After leading the first lap, McMahan ceded the position to Schatz. Through two early cautions, Schatz hung on as Madsen began to make his move forward. When the caution fell again on lap 20, Madsen got the opportunity he needed. On the restart he found his way around Schatz and took over the lead on lap 21.

James McFadden, like Madsen, an Australia native, started back in 11th in his All Star Performance car. As the feature wore on, he worked his way through the field. By lap 20 he had moved into sixth. As Madsen built a large lead at the front, McFadden found his way past Kraig Kinser for fourth and Paul McMahan for third.

As the cars worked their way through lapped traffic in the closing 10 laps, McFadden closed the gap, challenging Schatz on the bottom for second. The battle continued for several laps, before Schatz could again pull away. On the final lap, Schatz gave it one last try to get around Madsen for the lead, diving to the bottom in turns three and four, but it was not enough.

Schatz, a five-time Outlaws champion and current points leader, finished the night in second, his eighth podium finish in a row.

“I knew we were going to need traffic,” Schatz said. “Kerry runs the racetrack really well when you get up there and go. Just couldn’t find another line to gain any time without having traffic there at the end – that helped us a little bit… He was a little bit better there towards the middle of the race and maybe even at the end. We just got to him. They just got the job done quicker than we did.”

Schatz said he tried different lines throughout the feature but just could not get his car into a line to close the gap on Madsen.

“Some days are like that, some days aren’t,” Schatz said. “The STP guys still did a great job. They’ve been awful consistent lately. We were in contention for it. I guess it came down to that last restart there. He got a really good start and we didn’t. So that’s the way it goes – you win some, you lose some.”

McFadden, who picked up his second podium finish in three races with the Outlaws and his second KSE Hard Charger Award in as many nights, said the track, one of his favorites, was challenging, but that he stumbled into a good line.

“It was tough, you just kind of had to give yourself clean air and that was kind of the key I guess,” McFadden said. “As soon as you got behind a car it kind of screwed around with the front of your car. We just accidentally went to the middle and found a good spot and passed cars there. Just hats off to the 3g guys. They gave me an awesome car and to give them a good result is awesome.”

Schatz extended his lead in the race for the championship over second place Daryn Pittman to 118 points. Third place Paul McMahan is 174 points out of the lead.

The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series returns to action on Wednesday, Aug. 6 at Knoxville Speedway in Knoxville, Iowa as the Outlaws take on the Knoxville Nationals.

Related Topics:

World of Outlaws, Kerry Madsen

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