Kerry Madsen and Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing have been aligned for only 50 days.
In that span, they’ve become one of the hottest combinations in all of Sprint Car racing. With iconic mechanic Ricky Warner on the wrenches and a bustling Ford Performance engine package, the fierce Australian known as “The Mad Man” has take his game to the next level.
On Thursday night at Jackson Motorplex, the inevitable finally happened: a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win.
Storming all the way from 14th aboard the #14 sponsored by Advanced Auto Parts and Rush Truck Centers, Madsen made impressive work of a stout field on the opening night of the 43rd annual AGCO Jackson Nationals.
It only took the St. Mary’s, NSW, AUS native eight laps to pass a whopping 12 cars, and then he zoomed by leader Logan Schuchart with a daring slide job in in traffic on Lap 26 of the 30-lapper.
“I knew we had it all night,” Madsen mentioned on his confidence. “I got an awesome start, and then an awesome restart on that caution. This car is just unbelievable. The Ford power plant is so good. It’s so much fun to drive. Ricky [Warner] had this thing on rails. I committed to the top and just never lifted.”
Dominant from the beginning, Madsen and the TSR #14 started hot by scoring the Slick Woody’s QuickTime Award, his third within the last week. Struggles in the Drydene Heat Race, which featured a special eight-car inversion, limited the Aussie to a seventh-place finish, but his points were enough to line him up outside of row seven in the NOS Energy Drink Feature.
While Madsen was mired mid-pack, all eyes were on Logan Schuchart at the start of the 30-lapper. The defending Jackson Nationals champion checked out and ran away from pole sitter David Gravel by a stunning 3+ seconds in only the first five laps.
By Lap 8, Madsen was sitting in the runner-up spot, and had his sights set on the Shark Racing #1S. He offered several challenges throughout the halfway point, but Madsen’s perfect opportunity came on Lap 25 as he slid across Schuchart and a lapper to take the lead in turn three with a bold move.
He led the following circuit and a caution promptly created a restart. Schuchart came firing back at the #14, but his slide job into turn one fell short when “The Mad Man” throttled down and whipped around the outside of him. From there, he ran off to his 26th career World of Outlaws win with a margin of victory of 0.682-seconds.
The win was significant on many levels:
- Furthest a WoO winner has started since Logan Schuchart won Hanford from 19th on March 31, 2017
- First WoO win for Tony Stewart Racing #14 since Christopher Bell at Eldora on July 14, 2017
- Eight driver to win WoO Feature with TSR – Schatz, S. Kinser, K. Kinser, Lasoski, McMahan, Stewart, Bell
- 1,084 days since Madsen’s last WoO win at Cedar Lake on July 7, 2018
- Ended 106-race losing streak for Madsen in WoO competition
- Ricky Warner’s first WoO win as Crew Chief since November 3, 2018 with Schatz
- Second WoO win of 2021 for Ford Performance Stewart 410 (FPS410 Engine)
After leading the opening 25 laps, Hanover, PA’s Logan Schuchart brought his Drydene Performance Products #1S home with a second-place finish in the first of three Features this weekend.
“Obviously if we get that caution one lap prior it would’ve been a different outcome I think,” Schuchart said. “You never know if you want to be aggressive or conservative in traffic, and that hurt us tonight. Still a great run for us, w’ere just building momentum for the big one on Saturday.”
Completing the podium at Jackson Motorplex was David Gravel aboard Tod Quiring’s Big Game Motorsports #2.
“The $50,000 on Saturday is a long race, so we’re just dialing ourselves in for that,” Gravel explained. “We had a good car there at the end, we just need to make some small adjustments. A good points night, though.”
James McFadden in the Kasey Kahne Racing #9 and Carson Macedo in the Jason Johnson Racing #41 rounded out the top-five on Thursday night.
Closing out the top-1o on night one of the Jackson Nationals was the Sheldon Haudenschild in the Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing #17, Brad Sweet in the Kasey Kahne Racing #49, Jacob Allen in the Shark Racing #1A, Giovanni Scelzi in the KCP Racing #18, and Kraig Kinser in the Kinser Racing #11K.
JACKSON NATIONALS POINTS (Top-4 after Friday Lock-In): 1. Logan Schuchart (426); 2. David Gravel (425); 3. Brad Sweet (424); 4. James McFadden (423); 5. Kerry Madsen (420); 6. Carson Macedo (416); 7. Sheldon Haudenschild (411); 8. Jacob Allen (407); 9. Giovanni Scelzi (395); 10. Shane Golobic (392).
UP NEXT: The 43rd annual AGCO Jackson Nationals continues with a second preliminary night on Friday, June 24 at Jackson Motorplex. Drivers will battle for more points with the top-four in accumulative points from both preliminary shows locking-in to Saturday’s $50,000-to-win Feature.
NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 14-Kerry Madsen [$10,000]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$5,500]; 3. 2-David Gravel [$3,200]; 4. 9-James McFadden [$2,800]; 5. 41-Carson Macedo [$2,500]; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$2,300]; 7. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,200]; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen [$2,100]; 9. 18-Giovanni Scelzi [$2,050]; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$2,000]; 11. 15-Donny Schatz [$1,500]; 12. 17W-Shane Golobic [$1,200]; 13. 5-Parker Price-Miller [$1,150]; 14. 3K-Tim Kaeding [$1,100]; 15. 83-Aaron Reutzel [$1,050]; 16. 21-Brian Brown [$1,000]; 17. 26-Cory Eliason [$1,000]; 18. 88N-DJ Netto [$1,000]; 19. 7-Justin Henderson [$1,000]; 20. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,000]; 21. 3-Ayrton Gennetten [$1,000]; 22. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$1,000]; 23. 11-Spencer Bayston [$1,000]; 24. 2C-Wayne Johnson [$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Logan Schuchart 1-25, Kerry Madsen 26-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 14-Kerry Madsen[+13]
NEW Championship Standings (36/81 Races): 1. Brad Sweet (5,036); 2. David Gravel (-48); 3. Carson Macedo (-120); 4. Sheldon Haudenschild (-142); 5. Donny Schatz (-148); 6. Logan Schuchart (-198); 7. Aaron Reutzel (-272); 8. Kraig Kinser (-580); 9. James McFadden (-586); 10. Brock Zearfoss (-838).