Late Race Mechanical Failure Derails Kerry Madsen at Knoxville Nationals
PETERSEN MEDIA- Kerry Madsen and his Keneric Racing team had another impressive showing at the Knoxville Nationals. Part of a three car battle for the lead late in the feature event, a mechanical failure would knock Madsen out of the race on the 47th lap.
“It was a heartbreaker,” Kerry Madsen said. “We were so good all week, and we were fighting with Jason Johnson and Donny Schatz when something went south and knocked us out of the race on lap 47.”
Running a special 1AUS paint scheme paying homage to the Australian National Title he and his team won in January, Madsen would hit the track on Thursday night and time the Keneric Health Care/Keneric Racing/American Racing Wheels entry in fourth fastest.
With many of the top qualifiers failing to transfer through their heat races, Madsen flexed his muscle as he raced to the fourth position and moved into the Thursday night feature event.
Gridding the field from the eighth spot for the 25-lap affair, Madsen would continue to show great speed on the famous ½ mile speedway as he worked his way forward through some extremely windy conditions as a storm approached. Able to get James McFadden and Dale Blaney late in the race, Madsen would take the checkered flag in the fourth spot, which would place him third in overall Knoxville Nationals points.
Returning to the Knoxville Raceway on Saturday night for the Knoxville Nationals finale, the St. Marys, NSW driver would line the 1AUS entry up in the second row for the 50-lap feature event.
As the race came to life, Madsen would run in the fourth spot in the early goings as he chased after Donny Schatz, Daryn Pittman, and Jason Johnson who ran just ahead of him.
Following a caution on the 16th lap, ‘The Mad Man’ would get around Daryn Pittman and take over the third spot as he chased after the lead duo of Johnson and Schatz.
With the leaders battling ahead of him, Madsen would feel pressure from Pittman just before the mandatory stoppage but he would keep him at bay and sit in the third spot when the scheduled red flag flew.
Continuing to look strong in third, Madsen would close in on Donny Schatz as the leaders hit traffic on lap 33. Nearly making contact with Schatz battling for second, Madsen would avoid a near disaster and take over the second spot with just 12 laps left in the race. Madsen would mount a charge and erase a once large lead to under a second as the laps clicked down.
With less then 10-laps to go in the race, Donny Schatz would get back in on the battle for the top spot, as fans would come to their feet as the trio battled for the lead at the Knoxville Nationals.
On the 47th lap however, Madsen’s night would come to a disappointing end as he would slow and make the left hand turn into the infield with a mechanical failure.
“We were all gutted,” Madsen said. “We have been so close at the Nationals the last few years, and we had a great opportunity on Saturday night. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. I hate it for everyone involved in this team. I have to thank my guys for working so hard and getting us a fast car, the Gavranich family for giving us the tools to be a contender, as well as all of our partners for their support to this team.”
2016 BY THE NUMBERS- Starts-71, Wins-9, Top-5’s-30, Top 10’s-45
STAY CONNECTED: Keep updated with Kerry Madsen & Keneric Racing in a variety of interactive ways-