ROSSBURG, Ohio — After a three-hour rain delay in the early evening, Kerry Madsen dominated the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Jokers Wild at Eldora Speedway on Thursday night, leading all 30 laps to secure his fourth win of the season.
In an event that stretched into the early hours of Friday morning, Madsen was third-quick in Flight A qualifying, finished second in his heat and won the Craftsman Club Dash to earn the pole for the $10,000-to-win special.
From there, the Australian was untouchable, despite sustaining an injury early in the race after a rock cut his hand in the opening five laps.
“A couple of times the car took off on me and I didn’t quite have the wheel,” Madsen joked about his injury after he was treated following the race. “I could just see all the blood in the glove. It was hurting, but I just kept going.”
Off the initial start, Madsen grabbed the early lead while fellow front row starter Brad Sweet drag raced him into turn three for the lead. The battle was short-lived, however, as Brady Bacon flipped in turn two before the opening lap was complete to bring out the red flag. Bacon was uninjured.
A complete restart followed and saw Madsen jump out front again, while 14th-starting Jac Haudenschild slowed almost immediately, but pulled pitside, which allowed the race to continue.
“I got side-by-side down the backstretch,” Sweet said of the start. “Kerry left just enough there and I had a run. He was able to go across the track in turn three and take some air off my car and, honestly, that was kind of the race. He was really fast out in clean air. There was definitely no catching him there.”
Madsen set a blistering pace on the lightning quick track and worked into traffic on lap eight. While the bottom was the preferred lane, Madsen drove to the top on the cushion to work past slower cars.
The dirtier top lane for Madsen did slow his pace slightly and allowed Sweet to pull within one second of the No. 2M. The glimmer of hope was short-lived for Sweet, though, as the caution waved on lap 12 when Logan Schuchart suffered a broken front axle and came to a stop in turn four.
The yellow flag gave Madsen the clean air he needed on the restart to pull away from Sweet again and he did just that.
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