Madsen Returns to VerMeer Motorsports to Contest 2008 World of Outlaws Season Gearing up for the 2008 season, Kerry Madsen has joined forces with VerMeer Motorsports Inc. and will contest the entire World of Outlaws schedule, beginning on...
Madsen Returns to VerMeer Motorsports to Contest 2008 World of Outlaws Season
Gearing up for the 2008 season, Kerry Madsen has joined forces with VerMeer Motorsports Inc. and will contest the entire World of Outlaws schedule, beginning on February 8 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, driving the No. 55 machine. This will be the team's first foray on the road full-time with the World of Outlaws.
Madsen competed full-time with the World of Outlaws for the first time in his career this past season, winning twice and earning the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award. He racked up 23 Top-10 finishes en route to a very respectable 13th-place finish in the overall championship points.
"I'm very exited and at the same time I realize the challenge that it will be with a first-year team," said Madsen. "All in all, I am looking forward to it."
The native of St. Mary's, NSW, Australia was a part of VerMeer Motorsports from 2004 until early 2006, competing weekly at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. As a part of the team, he was the 2005 Knoxville track champion. During his title winning season, Madsen won five A-Feature events in-a-row at one point on the half-mile, in addition to winning the Summer Classic from the 16th starting spot, which earned him $10,000. Also in 2005, he finished sixth in the Knoxville Nationals, after starting 15th.
The team which is owned by Tony and Kelly VerMeer will continue to campaign the No. 55 on the car, and will utilize a Maxim chassis, with Don Ott power under the hood. Matt Barbara will be the crew chief for the team based out of Pella, Iowa.
Madsen along with five other drivers have helped the team finish in the Top-10 in points at Knoxville Raceway in six of the last seven years, including three consecutive Top-Five finishes in the standings. They were fifth this past season with Billy Alley behind the wheel.
"It will be a big help having worked with the team before," said Madsen, who is a two-time winner of the Grand Annual Classic in Australia. "We have the chemistry and a great bond with the crew."
In 2007, Madsen claimed the World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year while driving for the Selma Racing team owned by the late Dave Helm and based out of California. He won two races, including on the second night of the season during the Florida DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, as well as in his first visit to Perris Auto Speedway in California.
Madsen adapted quickly to a number of tracks he was visiting for the first time in 2007, as he was quickest in time trials three times over the course of the season, including setting new track records at the famed Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix and at the storied Orange County Fair Speedway in New York.
"There's no doubt about it that it will help going back to tracks next year," he said, as he looks ahead to the 2008 season. "You don't realize coming into it what it takes to adjust to a new track, but you do adjust to it. At the same time it will be an advantage going back to tracks, knowing I have been there before."
Madsen won the Crane Cams Dash twice this season to earn pole positions in A-Feature events with the World of Outlaws, in addition to claiming the KSE Race Products Hard Charger Award five times. The honor went to the driver that passed the most cars in the A-Feature each night.
The team's first race at Knoxville in 2008 with the World of Outlaws will be on April 26. Their final tune-up for the Knoxville Nationals will be on June 6 and 7 when the series returns to the storied half-mile for two full nights of racing. Madsen is cautiously excited to return to the track, which he lives just a couple miles away from. In his career at Knoxville, he has 14 A-Feature wins.
"When you do the Outlaws deal, each and every race is important," he explained. "We'll definitely be wanting to run good at the shows around home. We'll take each race as they come, one-by-one. We don't want to get into any trouble by putting too much emphasis on any one race."
Madsen finished the 2007 season off with plenty of momentum, earning Top-10 finishes in five of the last eight events, including a podium finish on the opening night of the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania and his second career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at Perris, as he led all 30 laps, holding off 2001 World of Outlaws champion Danny Lasoski for the win.
In preparation for the 2008 World of Outlaws season, Madsen has already competed a couple of times in his native land in the opening rounds of the World Series Sprintcar season. He won the second event at Perth Motorplex, in a thrilling battle with two-time defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz. After returning to the United States for the Holiday's, Madsen will return down under to compete a number of times prior to heading to Florida for the World of Outlaws season in February.
"A realistic goal is to be a Top-10 team," he said, when assessing what he believes the team can achieve in 2008. "I think we can also win five races."