Story By: TOM BOGGIE / ALBANY-SARATOGA SPEEDWAY – MALTA, NY – For the second year in a row, modified drivers at Albany-Saratoga Speedway will be trying to get into Brian Madsen’s wallet.
The Madsen Overhead Doors Back-to-Back bonus will once again be in effect during the 2021 racing season. Any modified driver who can win two features in a row during the points season will receive a $500 bonus. The bonus went unclaimed during the COVID-19-shortened season in 2020.
Madsen, working in conjunction with Mark Flach Jr. of Flach Performance Products on the bonus, said there will be a slight revision to the criteria put in place in 2021 to collect the bonus.
“I talked with Mark about it, and basically, if a driver wins two in a row, he has to pass tech at the track, so we know the car was legal, and then has to return to compete the next Friday night to receive the bonus,” Madsen said. “Our purpose is to help out the guys who are fully committed to running at Albany-Saratoga every week.
“I didn’t start the bonus hoping we wouldn’t have to pay it,” he added. “Everyone knows this isn’t a cheap sport, and the bonus gives drivers who have shown a commitment to Albany-Saratoga another opportunity to collect some extra money.”
It’s been over two years since a modified driver has recorded back-to-back wins. Matt DeLorenzo was the last one to pull off the back-to-backs, on July 13 and July 20, in 2018. During the 2017 season, Brett Hearn, who used to drive Madsen’s potent modified at Albany-Saratoga, Marc Johnson and Peter Britten all recorded back-to-back victories.
There were no back-to-back winners in 2019, even though 10 different drivers made their way to victory lane during the regular season.
Madsen is well aware of just how hard it’s going to be to win the bonus in 2021.
“There are so many Bicknell cars, it’s almost like an IROC race,” he said. “The driver really has to be on. Someone will have to have everything working for him for two weeks in a row.”
Madsen is still a familiar face in the pits at Albany-Saratoga, as his son Dylan campaigned a limited sportsman last season, recording his first career win on Aug. 7. Madsen also fields a big block for Flach at Lebanon Valley Speedway.
Albany-Saratoga Speedway promoter Lyle DeVore has already announced that he plans to begin the racing season on Friday, April 16. The entire 2021 schedule is still being finalized.