Madsen Slides to Brad Doty Classic Victory at Limaland Motorsports Park
The Australian wins his third feature in the last 11 World of Outlaws events
LIMA, Ohio – July 11, 2012 – Initially, Kerry Madsen was just hoping to survive Wednesday night.
In the end, the Australian stood atop the podium at Limaland Motorsports Park after claiming the 40-lap feature, which was filled with slide jobs and close calls at the Ohio Logistics 24th annual Brad Doty Classic Presented by Racing Optics.
It is Madsen’s third World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series feature victory in the last 11 events and he became the seventh different driver to win in the last seven Outlaws races at the tight, quarter-mile track.
“It was pretty intense in the seat,” he said. “Ironically, I thought if we could get out of here with a top 10 I’d be excited. To get a victory is awesome.”
Stevie Smith, who started on the pole by virtue of a dominating dash victory, rocketed to the early feature lead with Sam Hafertepe Jr. in tow. Madsen, who started on the outside of Smith, passed Hafertepe Jr. for the runner-up position around lap five and began to chase down Smith once the duo entered traffic.
Smith’s advantage of nearly half a straightaway was quickly erased and Madsen tried a slide job in turns three and four on lap 18. However, he didn’t have enough speed and Smith maintained the lead. Two laps later, Hafertepe Jr. stopped on the frontstretch with a flat right rear tire while running fourth to bring out a caution a lap before the halfway point.
That’s when things became a little hectic.
“They were really important and they were awfully hard to figure out tonight,” Smith said of the restarts. “It was a tough deal on the restarts. The bottom was still real good. The top was kinda further around and there were guys coming in the middle, so it got really interesting.
“The double-file restarts made it an interesting race. Unfortunately, it gave Kerry an advantage.”
While Smith got through turns one and two with the lead, Madsen through a big slider on Smith in turns three and four. Smith tried to turn underneath Madsen, who had just enough to hold onto the top spot as they raced down the frontstretch.
Smith had a shot at redemption 10 laps later when Jac Haudenschild caused a caution by dramatically slowing in front of the Madsen-Smith battle on the backstretch. Madsen chose the inside lane on the double-file restart and narrowly edged Smith for the lead exiting turn two.
While drivers throughout the field were sliding each other every lap, the battle up front continued to be replayed with restarts after Chad Kemenah flipped in turn four on lap 34. Once again, Madsen choose the inside lane and once again, he held off a side-by-side clash with Smith.
“He was pretty nice,” Madsen said. “If it was two or three feet difference, I would have had to lift and couldn’t clear him. It was as close at it got.”
The final caution was waved on that restart after David Gravel was called for leaving the outside lane too early. However, Madsen was able to avoid being slid and drove to the narrow win.
“I wasn’t really being nice to him,” Smith said after finishing second. “I don’t really have a good excuse; he just did a heck of a job. He won the race. It’s his race. It’s his night and we’re just going to be glad with second and move on to the next one.”
Gravel, who piloted from 13th to third in the first half of the race, rebounded from his late penalty to round out the podium – his sixth top five of the season.
“It was definitely good racing,” he said. “It’s the best in sprint car racing. A lot of the guys you run with up front you can trust. That was a good showing tonight how clean everybody raced, especially up front.”
Greg Wilson picked up the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from 17th to fourth and Donny Schatz finished fifth. Fast qualifier Craig Dollansky was sixth and Daryn Pittman seventh. Last Chance Showdown winner Sammy Swindell finished eighth, Steve Kinser placed ninth and Tim Shaffer powered from 22nd to 10th.
Smith, Kinser, Hafertepe Jr. and Pittman each won a heat race, and Lucas Wolfe claimed the C Main.