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Madsen Happy With Solid Port Royal Performance

Lance Dewease (69k) battles Kerry Madsen Saturday at Port Royal Speedway. (Dan Demarco Photo)
Lance Dewease (69k) battles Kerry Madsen Saturday at Port Royal Speedway. (Dan Demarco Photo)

PORT ROYAL, Pa. – A shot at winning and one spot behind the second winningest driver in Port Royal Speedway history isn’t a bad way to the year for Kerry Madsen and his new team.

On opening day at Port Royal on Saturday, Madsen led eight laps and finished second to Lance Dewease, a strong showing in his debut in the Michael Barshinger No. 24.

It’s a much better outing than the team’s debut last week at Lincoln Speedway, where he limped home to finish 11th with a broken right rear w-link. Most importantly, it’s something Madsen and his team can improve on, having gone head-to-head against one the best in Dewease.

“That was a great run for us,” Madsen said. “Solid car all night for us. It’s definitely something to build off.”

Madsen led the opening eight laps, powering to the lead from fourth on the race’s initial start. It was the first laps the Barshinger No. 24 led since July 12, 2019, when Lucas Wolfe won at Williams Grove Speedway.

The 49-year-old found a nice rhythm, but could never get comfortable in turns three and four, typically the drier end of the track. So, when the caution flag waved on lap seven and bunched the field, Madsen knew he needed to find it quickly or he’d leave the door open for Dewease.

Unfortunately for Madsen, Dewease passed him two laps after the ensuing restart. Off went the National Sprint Car Hall of Famer while Madsen was left searching.

“You needed a really nice line in [turns] three and four, and I couldn’t quite get it figured out,” Madsen said. “Especially as long as the run went, I couldn’t get the line. I tried everything I could think of.”

Madsen is a renowned punisher of the cushion, a large reason for his nickname “The Mad Man.” Most of the top, the top is the preferred route in turns one and two at Port Royal. But in turns three and four at Port Royal, it can be dry, slick, and a whole different ball game.

“I’ve always been strong in [turns] one and two,” Madsen said. “[Turns] three and four, when there’s no cushion like that, it’s pretty technical. We definitely have some things that we could be better for.

“I feel like I know the place,” Madsen added. “We just have to make our package a little better.”

Madsen isn’t going to be a weekly regular at Port Royal, but he will run the track on most Saturday nights, hoping desirable results like opening day lead to more.

“It’s great,” Madsen said. “It’s a great group of guys. I fit right in. Hopefully it’s going to be a great summer.”

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