From Cristina Cordova
NEW RICHMOND, WI (July 8, 2017) – In what looked a bit like a repeat of the night before, Kerry “The Madman” Madsen took the checkers on night two of the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown at Cedar Lake Speedway with Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz behind him.
“I just enjoy racing with the World of Outlaws so much,” said Madsen from Victory Lane. “I mean, you just have to be on point all the way.”
Certainly the Kasey Kahne Racing driver and the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing driver never let up. They came prepared to do battle with the Big Game Motorsports 2M after the previous night’s finish.
“Last night I took a swing but then gave him the room,” said Sweet. “And tonight I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to try a little bit harder.'”
In fact, everything was a little harder for Madsen the second time around. Jason Johnson started on the pole and maintained his lead for the first 11 laps of the race while Schatz took Madsen on from third, passing him seven laps in, only to lose his advantage in the following lap, just as Sweet started pressing on him.
With Sweet and Schatz battling it out for third, Madsen focused his attention on the Priority Aviation No. 41, passing him with 29 laps to go. Five laps later, after Johnson slowed off the bottom of turn two, Sweet charged past Schatz and continued onward past Johnson to resume the battle with Madsen from the night before.
Schatz followed suit, and by lap 20, halfway into the race, the top four positions were set, with David Gravel holding the rear. Though Madsen had a strong lead, a caution on Jac Haudenschild (who lost a wheel) gave the drivers a final opportunity to steal the lead.
“Brad [Sweet] had a hell of a run, and he put a big move on in one and two,” said Madsen. “Fortunately, in that corner I had enough time to turn back down and try to tuck right in down the backstretch and repay the favor in three and four. Then I was just trying to mix it up and run a different line here or there to keep him guessing. I feel like I didn’t have much ties there at the end. There was a lot of wheel spin going on, but with two to go you’re just foot to the floor, and you’re like, ‘I’m not losing this now.’ So that was a great run.
“I got up in front of him,” said Sweet, “but he turned down. And then he did what he had to do those last few laps. You know, he kind of played defense. We were trying to search to get the run on him, but his car was good all weekend.
Sweet, who is second in points standings behind Donny Schatz (-80) has more top-10 finishes than him so far this season, and almost as many top-fives, but he’s nine wins behind him and hasn’t taken the checkers since exactly one month ago, at Knoxville Raceway. .
“My guys keep giving me great race cars,” said the No. 49 Napa Auto Parts driver. “We just have to figure out how to win some of these. They come down to the last five laps like that, and we’re just a hair off. If we can just find it, we’ll get some more of these wins. I know I keep saying that every night, but it’s the truth. As long as we’re up here on the podium we’re happy though.”
Schatz had less to say from Victory Lane, but expressed a similar sentiment. “When you can’t win you gotta do the best you can . . . That’s why they call it racing, so we’ll learn from our mistakes and move on.”
Behind Gravel at the finish was Jason Sides rounding out the top five. While Sides started in 16, his fifth place finish is even more impressive given the fact that he was pushed to the back (24) on a reset after a collision before completing the first lap of the race. Sadly, his 19-position charge only counted as 11, and the KSE Hard Charger Award went to Bill Balog for another impressive charge – from 24 to 10.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series takes on Attica Raceway Park on Tuesday, July 11 for the Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic before heading to Eldora Speedway for the Kings Royal, July 13-15.