Ian Madsen Makes a Return to Knoxville Raceway Weekly!

Ian Madsen Makes a Return to Knoxville Raceway Weekly!
Friday, April 27, 2012
Ian Madsen Makes a Return to Knoxville Raceway Weekly
By Joanne Cram

After a season racing in California and with the World of Outlaws last year, Ian Madsen makes a return trip to Knoxville, piloting the 55 TK Concrete-Barry Lewis 410. The 27 year old from St. Marys, New South Wales, Australia, just returned to the states eight days ago, just in time for the season opener rain out! Ian had a chance to race back home a few times before catching the 15 hour plane ride back to the states.

Ian grew up attending the races with his dad and brother. Ian’s dad raced late models while he was young, and when his brother, Kerry began racing, Ian continued to help out. Unlike a lot of racers, Ian didn’t start out having much of an interest in racing. It wasn’t until he was about 14 when he came to the states to visit his brother that he caught the race fever, and was hooked. Ian returned to Australia, where he finished out high school and had a chance to move on to University to study journalism, but he decided to pursue his racing dreams. Ian spent the next five years crewing with Matt Barbara on Kerry’s car in both countries, all the while gaining knowledge and putting in the time it takes to eventually race for his own team.

2004 was Ian’s first season behind the wheel. He raced at his home track, the quarter mile at Paramatta. Admittedly, Ian says that first season was not his best, but he took it slow and learned how to handle the car and progressively got enough experience to make him ready to make the leap to full time racer. By 2007, Ian had begun to prove that he had what it takes to be a successful racer, earning 2nd in points at Paramatta that season. The next two seasons he traveled all over the country hitting races.

In 2005, Ian decided to put another Madsen on the track. He partnered with Wayne Simmons in the F5 that season in the US. Ian had big hopes for his rookie season at Knoxville, but those hopes were dashed when on his first night out, Ian crashed the F5 hard, walking away from the crash with a broken arm and tailbone. Those injuries kept Ian out of the seat until mid June, when he was able to return for the remainder of the season. When Ian wasn’t racing for himself, he continued to help Matt Barbara on his brother’s car in both the states and Australia.

For the next four seasons, Ian wasn’t able to put a car together for racing in the US, however, he continued racing back in Australia and crewing on his brother’s car here in the states.

By 2010, Ian had put in enough time wrenching for Tony VerMeer’s #55 TK Concrete sprint car, that he began hassling Tony for a chance behind the wheel. With a few big race wins back home, including a final lap pass on Donny Schatz to win a race at Paramatta, Ian was quickly proving that he had what it took to be competitive at Knoxville. Ian’s persistence paid off, and with Kerry on the World of Outlaw trail in the Brian Hall #3 sprint car, Tony put Ian behind the wheel of his TK Concrete #55.

2010 started out rough and rocky for Madsen. Ian had a few hurdles to get over, but by mid-season, he had found his groove and won a race. The remainder of the season held more consistency, and Ian rounded out the Knoxville Raceway points in 6th place.

With a successful 2010 season in the 55 car, Ian began 2011 racing in California in a car owned by himself and friend, Lee Watson. The pair raced for the King of the West title all across California. Madsen returned to Knoxville for the races leading up to the Nationals, where he took his 28 Factory Kahne car into the front of the B Main. A promising finish in the Nationals was ended when a wheel broke and junked the car.

When Bill Rose was injured later that summer, Madsen jumped at the chance to fill in for the 6R from September through the end of the season. The highlight of Ian’s career this far, racing with the Outlaws on the road challenged him and gave him the opportunity to experience many different racetracks. The most memorable moment of last season was finishing 4th at Rolling Wheels, New York- and beating out his brother, Kerry in the Charlotte dash for the win!

With high hopes for 2012, Ian is just settling back into the states. Pairing with his Australian car owner, Barry Lewis, Tony VerMeer is sponsoring the 55 TK Concrete 410. Ian’s objective for the season is to be competitive, do his best each race, and hopefully win a few races on the 30 to 40 race schedule across the Midwest.

Ian and Kerry look forward to their dad, Joe coming out each Nationals for a month to hang out and race with them. Being away from family for up to six months at a time can take a toll, but Ian finds ways to stay connected and fans can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Crew of the 55 TK Concrete sprint car are Chris Tormay, Scotty Gordon, and Joe VanHemert. Owners are TK Concrete and Barry Lewis.