2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Kerry Madsen Concord, NC-- January 29, 2009--The off-season seems to get shorter and shorter for Kerry Madsen every year, but he would want it no other way, as he returns to each winter to his ...
2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Kerry Madsen
Concord, NC-- January 29, 2009--The off-season seems to get shorter and shorter for Kerry Madsen every year, but he would want it no other way, as he returns to each winter to his native Australia to compete in preparation for the following season in the United States.
Madsen will be driving for the VerMeer Motorsports team again in 2009 and will be teamed with veteran crew chief Sonny Kratzer for the third consecutive season, as they take to the road full-time with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series beginning on February 6 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida in the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.
"I am very excited to head back and begin the Outlaws season," said Madsen. "It's been a while since I have been with the same team two years in a row. We have the same team this year, with the same motors, the same car and the same crew chief. I'm looking forward to coming out of the box strong."
Madsen had a very strong tour of Australia over the winter, making separate two trips Down Under, winning two race races, at Parramatta City Raceway, including with the World Series Sprintcars. He competed against a number of fellow World of Outlaws drivers during a two-week stretch at the track located in Sydney and picked up seven Top-10 finishes in eight starts. Overall he racked up 10 Top-10 finishes Down Under this off-season.
"Hopefully that carries over when we get to Florida and we remember how to win there," said the 2007 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year of his wins in Australia. "We won a couple of races in a row in Australia and that certainly gives us some momentum as we start the Outlaws season.
Madsen led a number of laps last season and came very close to winning at River Cities Speedway in North Dakota in the summer and again at Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas later in the year. He wrapped up the 2008 season a career-best sixth in the championship standings on the strength of 37 Top-10 finishes, with eight of those being Top-Fives.
"You have to put yourself in a position to win," noted Madsen. "We did that a couple of times last year and just didn't have things fall our way. If you put yourself in position to win which I feel like we are doing, then we'll be up front battling for wins. We certainly have the car and the equipment to do it."
Having two full years of competition with the World of Outlaws under his belt entering 2009, Madsen is very familiar with the tracks on this year's schedule, which range in size from tight ¼-mile bullrings to sprawling 5/8-miles where the cars reach breathtaking speeds. Madsen ran strong on all types of tracks last season and looks to add to his two career World of Outlaws A-Feature victories this season.
"I feel pretty comfortable at most of the tracks we go to," said the native of St. Mary's, NSW, Australia. "There are some tracks that are still tricky and where the locals are very tough. I feel better and better each time we go to places like Williams Grove. I feel pretty comfortable everywhere we go, but every day in a sprint car is different and different challenges present themselves."
One of the strongest fields in the history of the World of Outlaws is being assembled this season, including four former champions that will chase the nearly 80 race schedule from coast-to-coast. Madsen is thrilled to be competing against the best drivers in the world night in and night out.
"It will absolutely be just as tough of competition and that is the way that I am treating it," he shared. "That is what makes the World of Outlaws, racing against the top drivers each night. It will always be tough when you race against them."
After nearly winning a couple of racing in 2008, Madsen's main goal for the new season is to return to Victory Lane. He won his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature event at Volusia Speedway Park in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH back in 2007 and followed that up with another victory later in his rookie year on the tour.
"Winning races will make it a good year for us," said Madsen. "We would like to at least match our point finish from last year, if not better it by one spot. If we start out strong in Florida, we are certainly capable of doing that."
The 2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series seasons kicks off February 6-8 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. . For more information on the event, including tickets, visit: www.dirtcarnationals.com.