PEVELY, Mo. — 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. It 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’ 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.
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.