Story By: CHRIS MOORE / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – SPENCERTOWN, NY – To Florida and Fonda. Spencertown, N.Y.’s Dylan Madsen is headed to All-Tech Raceway in Lake City, Fla., for his third consecutive ‘Sunshine Swing’ presented by Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco.
He also has a new Saturday home track this season: N.Y.’s historic Fonda Speedway.
Madsen has arguably had as much success as anyone in the Sunshine State since he first traveled to Florida in 2023, claiming the ‘Sunshine Swing’ championship and then getting a win at All-Tech in ’23, his first career STSS win.
“I didn’t know what to expect the first year, honestly,” Madsen explained. “We stopped at Lake View (Speedway in South Carolina) on the way down and we were terrible in ’22.
“It was my first year running with the regular Sportsman too, so I didn’t see it coming for us to run that well.”
With success, however, comes new expectations for the STSS regular.
“I was talking to my guys the other day, we really want to win the ‘Shirley Shootout’ race on Friday night down there,” he proclaimed of the boosted Friday night race in Florida in memory of Shirley Zacharias.
“After that hopefully we can win the championship; I really want to beat Brian (Calabrese, defending champion) and Joe (Toth).”
While the goals are lofty for Madsen, the driver of his family-owned No. 89 has taken a liking to All-Tech Raceway ever since he first hit the track.
“I can’t pinpoint exactly why it works so well for us,” he stated. “It caters really well to guys who can work their right foot, I think.
“I also like the southern dirt a lot more than what we’ve got up here in New York,” he added with a laugh.
The fifth annual ‘Sunshine Swing’ presented by Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches takes place Tues.-Sat., Feb. 6-10.
In 2023, Madsen chased both the North and South Regions for the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman and has much of the same plans for ’24.
Madsen finished runner-up in both regions last season and will look to do one better on the Belmont’s Garage South Region and Madsen Overhead Doors North Region in the new year.
Along with the STSS chase, Madsen will also call Fonda Speedway home in ’24.
Madsen’s been to Fonda only a handful of times in his career but has taken a shine to the uniquely shaped half-mile.
“We’ve either been really good or really bad when we’ve been to Fonda,” he explained. “It’s a really fast place and if you’re not on your game you’ll struggle.”
Despite the mixed bag of results, Madsen is looking forward to the challenge of the Track of Champions on Saturday nights.
“I love racing Fonda, I’ve enjoyed it every time we’ve been there,” he proclaimed. “Racing against the Fonda field is going to be interesting, too, and it should make us a lot better.
“The NASCAR deal will be cool too, going to Nashville would be really sweet if we can pull that off,” Madsen said with a laugh.
Fonda Speedway, featuring an entirely new clay surface for ’24, opens its season on April 20 with the $12,000-to-win Jumpin’ Jack Johnson Memorial event, one week after an Open Practice on April 13.