KERRY Madsen survived a drama-filled 32-minute epic to claim the World Series Sprintcars Speedweek title.
The Australian-raised, American-based ace collected $40,000 after his three feature wins from five starts helped him claim overall honours at Premier Speedway on New Year’s Day.
Madsen’s main rival, Warrnambool’s James McFadden, was a victim of the incident-laden decider.
McFadden, who started on pole, was sent to the rear of the field after one lap after he and Madsen were caught up when Ryan Jones’ engine stopped.
McFadden stopped and was penalised while Madsen kept his wheels going to keep his chances alive.
“We got lucky with James having a problem but we had a problem early as well; we got a DNF (in an earlier round),” Madsen said.
It was one of seven yellow flag cautions in a race which finished after midnight. Steven Lines’ flip after tyre issues was the most dramatic crash.
Madsen won from Warrnambool’s Jamie Veal after the latter took the lead with four to run only to be thwarted when fellow home-town driver Jye O’Keeffe stopped on turn three.
Veal started behind Madsen in the re-start with the Australian number one making the most of the reprieve.
American Cory Eliason collected third-place honours.
“We've got a good race car. It’s a matter of getting it out there and doing the right things at the right time,” Madsen said.
“I nearly gave it away, I got impatient and thought I could make a pass on a lap car and didn’t make it and lost the lead but fortunately the yellow came out and we got the lead back.”
Two south-west drivers – Allansford’s Tim Van Ginneken and O’Keeffe – advanced from the B-Main. Victorian Josh Buckingham won the 20-lap Formula 500 A-Main from Purnim competitor Chris Bellman.