ROSSBURG, Ohio — Kerry Madsen did something Saturday night few before him have ever done — he won the Kings Royal, one of the most coveted prizes on the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series schedule, and the right to be called “King.”
In front of a packed Eldora Speedway, the newly crowned “King Kerry” was emotional and at times speechless in victory lane as he thanked the fans, his team owners, crew members and sponsors.
“I just want to thank Eldora Speedway for just letting me be part of this fantastic race,” Madsen said. “I moved over from Australia and this is pretty much the race that hooked me on American racing.”
Madsen, who started seventh, took over the lead from David Gravel on lap 13.
“I got an awesome run,” Madsen said. “David and Donny (Schatz) were kind of battling there and it just left the topside open. I had the wing kind of in the trunk and the thing just sat down there and rolled around that corner wide open and we just pulled it off. We got a lot of momentum and track position after that.”
As the laps ticked by, Madsen built an impressive lead in his American Racing Custom Wheels car, maneuvering through lapped traffic and holding off challenges from Schatz and Gravel. A caution on the last lap presented Madsen with one final obstacle.
“I was just really, really trying to hold my concentration in the last 10 laps,” Madsen said. “Just stay motivated and hit my marks and I have to admit I started counting the laps down when there was five to go. Backed the pace down, brought her a little away from the wall. And the white flag lap I thought we have a shot here and then, what do you know, the yellow comes out.”
After coming so close to winning the famed event in years past, Madsen was focused on the competition behind him and keeping them there.
“When you have a champion like Donny behind you, you know you can’t make a mistake… and obviously David was strong all weekend and he was going to be a presence at some point as well,” Madsen said. “Fortunately for me, (my team) gave me that good a car that it just did its own thing anyways.”