CONCORD, N.C. – The difficult side of motorsports struck Kerry Madsen Wednesday, when Big Game Motorsports announced it would not retain the Australian for a fifth season.
Instead the Killer Instinct Crossbows No. 2 will have David Gravel, a 58-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series winner, behind the wheel next year.
With the news breaking late in the silly season landscape, Madsen is left without a ride for 2021 and without any options as of this weekend.
“I have absolutely nothing yet,” Madsen said Friday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. “It’s been a short amount of time since [Big Game Motorsports] made their intentions clear. All the major rides are probably taken. All the major seats are taken.
“We’ll play it by ear a little bit and put something together [eventually].”
Madsen, a 25-time winner with the World of Outlaws, has just one winged sprint car victory this year. That win came during the 360 Knoxville Nationals in August.
That makes him winless in 410 sprint car action for the first time since 2011, with just one World of Outlaws race left Saturday at Charlotte.
From 2017-19, Madsen rattled off 18 victories in the 410 with Big Game Motorsports.
“There’s always that capacity that change will get made,” said Madsen, who does have five runner-ups in 410 competition this year. “If you’re not ranked No. 1, there’s a chance you might be out. Definitely not blindsided, but [it’s] obviously disappointing. I wanted to continue [with Big Game Motorsports]. It’s racing, I guess.”
Only three days removed from the news, Madsen has yet to come up with ideas as to what could be next for his career. His options are fairly thin at this stage in the game.
Aaron Reutzel filled the final full-time World of Outlaws ride from the 2020 tour when he was signed by Roth Motorsports Friday morning. With Reutzel’s departure from Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports, his vacated No. 87 team is expected to dissolve.
While Madsen will keep all his options open, quality of equipment and contending in big events are two major factors that sit at the top of his wish list for a new opportunity.
“Obviously you want to [race] as much as you can but to compete at a high level, racing in quality equipment, that’s the main thing,” Madsen said. “I definitely wouldn’t rule anything out. I just want to go around and have a chance at the big races.”
Madsen said he plans to start making phone calls and searching for opportunities next week, once he finishes out his tenure with Big Game Motorsports on Saturday at Charlotte.
On Friday, he set fast time in Flight-A qualifying before fading to 13th in the 30-lap main.
“I’m just not going to panic about it,” Madsen said of his impending job hunt. “Like I said, all the major seats are taken. It’s probably unrealistic to put an Outlaw deal together now.
“We’ll see what happens. The main thing [I want] is quality.”