WIN lose or draw at the 2017/2018 Australian Sprintcar Championship, scheduled for Borderline Speedway in Mount Gambier on January 25-27, Kerry “the Madman” Madsen has nothing to prove to Australian Speedway fans.
The Kiwi-born, Western Sydney-bred full-time racer is a dominant force and constant contender on opposite sides of the globe.
Although he is a proud Australian, the 46-year old spends only three months of the year here and lives most of his life in the tiny Midwestern hamlet of Knoxville Iowa in the USA with his American wife Tina.
He is regarded as one of the top five drivers in the world year in, year out and his results in some of the universe’s biggest races solidify that reputation.
Indeed, there are only two achievements at the elite level he is yet to lock in – the Knoxville Nationals and the World of Outlaws Championship – and both have been prevented by the same person.
North Dakota’s Donny Schatz is widely regarded as the greatest driver of the modern era and both times Madsen has stood on the brink of becoming the first Australian to win “The Knoxville Nationals” it has been Schatz who sped home with the $150,000 pay cheque.
However, Madsen transcends international fan support.
Americans love him almost as much as Australians.
After a sensational 2017 in the USA plans are already well and truly locked away for Madsen for his 2018 assault, with one of the most feared mid-western teams in the world.
“We are thrilled to announce that Kerry will be back with Big Game Motorsports again in 2018,” Big Game Motorsports Representative Luke Lundt said.
“Since Day 1 Kerry has been a true professional and a team-oriented driver.
“You could not find someone better to work with over the last 12 months.”
Madsen too was delighted with how his new team gelled in 2017 since joining them when the West Australian owned Keneric Racing USA operation was disbanded at the end of 2016 after having an incredible impact on the sport for many seasons.
Madsen and his new team recorded eight feature victories, including five with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series alone.
The “Go Muddy” backed team produced 34 top five finishes and an astounding 51 top 10 finishes in 59 races.
That is a remarkably consistent season for a new combination.
“The level of consistency we had is usually something that takes years with a crew chief and a driver,” Madsen said.
“That takes a bit of time.
“That’s not easy to find.
“Some of those tracks Guy hadn’t been to and there were a lot of tracks that Guy hadn’t had a lot of time at.
“Our package is so good we saw good results.”
Madsen has captured some of the sport’s most glittering prizes, including the Kings Royal at the frightening Eldora Speedway, the gruelling Ironman 55 at the incredibly high-banked I-55
Speedway in Pevely Missouri, the Knoxville Raceway Track Championship and so many more.
His younger brother Ian, who heads out on the road for his first full time assault on the World of Outlaws in 2018, now has two Knoxville Track Championships to his credit further cementing the Madsen name as major forces in US competition.
In Australia for a short burst of races over two months including the defence of his 2016/2017 Australian Championship win at his Aussie home track Parramatta last season, Kerry Madsen is in stellar form.
He dominated the World Series Sprintcars Speedweek Series which included a well-timed win at Borderline Speedway and a cool $40,000 payday for the three rounds that he won between Murray Bridge, Mount Gambier and Warrnambool, plus the overall Speedweek crown.
He continued that strong form into Queensland for the Archerfield rounds and with the stunning #1 Keneric car on song, he will go into the Australian title as one of the raging, if not the favourite in a field chock field of contenders.
Each year it is said “this is the most wide open title ever” and that mantle can yet again be
applied for the Mount Gambier event.
Both Kerry and Ian are renowned for their ‘no nonsense’ approach to competition.
Their intensity both in and out of their racecars keeps them focused on the job at hand – and make no mistake it is their job.
Kerry will return to the USA in time to begin with the World of Outlaws in Florida for February once the title is done in Mount Gambier, so the Australian title, along with the Warrnambool Classic, are his two remaining Australian priorities.
In some of the best form of his life, in both the USA and Australia, driving for two powerhouse teams in the USA and Australia, it would be a brave man indeed to bet against Kerry Madsen winning a hat-trick of Australian titles and his fourth career #A1 at the end of this month.
Some might even say you would be mad.