WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa — It was a long way to the top for the “Madman” Kerry Madsen, but the open-wheel veteran made it look effortless on Friday night at 34 Raceway, ultimately charging ahead nine spots to secure his place in FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory lane.
The triumph, Madsen‘s first of the season with the series and 10th overall, scored the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing wheelman a $6,000 payday, holding off a late advancement by Clauson Marshall Racing‘s Tyler Courtney.
“I just want to thank everyone at Tony Stewart Racing for the opportunity. It‘s been such a pleasure to drive this thing,” Kerry Madsen said. “The guys work their butts off and give me a fast race car every night. This Ford Performance 410 is unbelievable. I just really love racing it.”
Despite starting from the inside of row five, Madsen made his presence known rather quickly, utilizing the very bottom of the speedway to power his way to third by lap seven.
Continuing his march on the bottom, Madsen eventually maneuvered his way to second, sneaking by Sam McGhee Motorsports‘ Spencer Bayston on lap 14. Meanwhile, Bill Balog held down the fort, leading the way from the pole position while focusing on 34 Raceway‘s outer edge.
Despite Balog‘s attempt to outrun his fellow frontrunners, his momentum on the cushion was no match for Madsen‘s smoothness on the bottom. Lap after lap, Madsen chopped away at Balog‘s lead, closing the gap to just a car length by lap 18, then pulling even with the B Squared Motorsports entry the following circuit.
By the completion of lap 20, Madsen was the new man in charge, using the exit of turn four to propel himself beyond Balog‘s No. 17b.
Courtney, who followed Madsen past Balog on lap 22, did his best to dethrone the former Knoxville Raceway track champion, but even with lapped traffic on his side, and a pair of lap-26 cautions keeping the field bunched, the Indianapolis, Indiana-native was no match for the Tony Stewart Racing veteran.
Courtney managed to slip by briefly, but Madsen immediately reclaimed the position, turning back underneath the NOS Turbo No. 7bc.
“When he slipped by me, I was able to turn back underneath him. I felt like once we got going and I was able to hit my marks, I was fine,” Madsen continued. “I just can’t‘ thank everyone enough. We‘ll do what we can to do this again tomorrow night.”
Courtney Balog, Gio Scelzi and Bayston filled the top five.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 14-Kerry Madsen ; 2. 7BC-Tyler Courtney ; 3. 17B-Bill Balog ; 4. 18-Gio Scelzi ; 5. 11-Spencer Bayston ; 6. 26-Cory Eliason ; 7. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 8. 10-Zeb Wise ; 9. 5-Paul McMahan ; 10. 13-Justin Peck ; 11. 47N-Marcus Dumesny ; 12. 9T-Kasey Kahne ; 13. 7TAZ-Tasker Phillips ; 14. O7-Skylar Gee ; 15. 18T-Tanner Holmes ; 16. 22-Riley Goodno ; 17. 49-Josh Schneiderman ; 18. 7B-Ben Brown ; 19. 91-Kyle Reinhardt ; 20. 24-Rico Abreu ; 21. 55M-McKenna Haase ; 22. 4-Cap Henry ; 23. 25-Austin McCarl  Lap Leaders: Bill Balog (1-19), Kerry Madsen (20-30)