Losing a heartbreaker at the Knoxville Raceway just one week ago, Ian Madsen returned to the “Mecca of Mud” on Saturday night and redeemed himself by taking the checkered flag, in what was a great week for Madsen and the KCP Racing team.
“We have one of the best teams out here, and it is a pleasure to work with everyone involved,” Madsen said. “We had a tough pill to swallow after last week, so it was great to come back out and be fast again and get the job done.”
With the Knoxville Nationals on the horizon, and time running out to get dialed in, Madsen timed in 11th fastest in time trials, and went on to finish third in heat race action to put him on the front row for the feature event.
In a very wild feature event, numerous wrecks marred the start of the feature, but when the action was underway, Madsen and Dusty Zomer were in a tight fight for the top spot.
On the restart following a lap two wreck, Madsen surged to the top spot, and quickly put distance between himself and Zomer, as he soon found himself in lapped traffic.
Getting into thick traffic, Madsen’s eight car length lead dissolved in a hurry, and Zomer was able to get to the inside of Madsen, only to see Madsen answer right back in his Nehring Construction/Team Kline Electric/Logan Contractor Supply No. 18 machine, when the caution flew with just five laps to go.
When the green dropped, Madsen kept the top spot, but now felt fierce pressure from a hard charging, Brian Brown, and the duo thrilled the crowd as the fought for the top spot.
With a nasty wreck causing an open red flag with just three to go, Madsen nailed his restart, as Brown looked for a way to get by him as the laps wound down.
The red flew a lap later for second running brown, who made hard contact with the wall as he made a move for the lead, and when the action resumed, Madsen was able to fend off Zomer, and pick up his second win at the historic half mile of the 2014 season.
“It is always great to win at Knoxville especially when we have so many of our partners in attendance, and watching,’ he said. “The Nationals are right around the corner, and this is huge for us heading into Iowa Speedweek.”
Madsen was also in action with the Midwest Open Wheel Association and the All Stars last week, and his week actually started on Wednesday night.
Hitting the Highland Speedway, Madsen lined up fifth in the third heat race, and during an early restart, the field stacked up in front of Madsen, resulting in damage to his machine that forced him back to the pit area, and into the B Main.
Lining up in the sixth row of the B Main, the St. Marys, NSW driver had a great start negated due to a caution, and the restart was negated to a caution, but bot cautions worked out for Madsen as he found himself in the sixth spot before the race went green.
When the action finally got underway, Madsen flexed his muscle as he worked into the third spot, and began chasing after the lead duo. Getting into the second spot in the closing laps, Madsen put himself in the feature event, where he lined up in the 18th spot.
Taking a liking to the top side of the speedway, Madsen worked his way up into the 14th spot, when the first caution of the night waived. When the action resumed, Madsen continued to ride the cushion, and the end result was an eighth place finish.
“We got caught up in an early wreck in our heat race, and the boys rolled their sleeves up and got us fixed, and we had a fast racecar.”
Thursday night saw the team head to the Tri City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, IL and in heat race action, he was able to score a second place finish from his third starting spot, putting him in the dash.
Starting in the sixth spot in the dash, Madsen was able to pick up two positions, and improve his starting position, as a fourth place finish put him in the second row for the feature event, on a very slick, and deteriorating surface.
Jumping into the third spot when the green lights flashed, the track began taking rubber, but Madsen looked for more positions.
Getting out of line trying to make a pass for second, Madsen couldn’t make it happen, and when he got back in the rubber, he had lost a position to AJ Bruns, and went onto finish in the fourth spot.
Sunday night saw the team return to the Huset’s Speedway as they took on the All Star Circuit of Champions.
Timing in eight fastest, Madsen found himself on the front row of his heat race, but he was called for jumping the initial start, and officials put him back into the second row.
From the second row, Madsen jumped into the third spot, as he chased after second running Rico Abreu. Closing in on Abreu in the latter stages of the race, Madsen could not get back to the second spot, and his third place finish put him in the fifth row of the feature event.
A slow start saw Madsen finally get into the ninth spot, after the middle pack of cars separated after a minor bottle up getting into the first turn.
Getting into the eighth spot, Madsen began reeling in Jac Haudenschild on a track that was tough to make a lot of ground up on.
Continuing to run good laps, Madsen was able to work his way into the seventh spot, when the checkered flag flew on his weekend, as he ended it with four Top-10 Finishes, two Top-Five’s and one win.
“Overall it was a great weekend for our entire organization,” Madsen said. “We were pretty good every night, and as a driver that is all you can ask for. We have the biggest two weeks of our season coming up, and when you can have so much confidence in your program, you can focus more on racing, and that is a great position to be in.”
Ian and his KCP acing team would like to thank Nehring Construction, Team Kline Electric, Logan Contractors Supply, Royal Flooring, Greenland Homes of Iowa, Quality Traffic Control, Factory Kahne, Rider Racing Engines, JRS Excavating, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Kent Performance, The Stone Shop, Aspen Air Inc. Heating and Cooling, Gator Excavating, TammyHeckart.com, Kent Performance, Revolution Race Gear, Lucas Oil, Wings Unlimited, and Kustom Concrete Pumping for their support.
2014 BY THE NUMBERS: Starts-58, Wins-7, Top-5’s- 24, Top 10’s-35
ON TAP: The KCP Racing team will now set their sights on the Knoxville 360 Nationals as they will qualify on Friday night, and look to lock into Saturday night’s feature event. As always, the 360 Nationals will be available for purchase on TheCushion.Com