MALTA, NY – For the last three years, modified drivers at Albany-Saratoga Speedway have been given the chance to pick up bonus money through the Madsen Overhead Doors Back-to-Back Bonus.
In 2023, sportsman drivers will be given the same opportunity.
Brian Madsen has announced that he will be expanding the bonus program this season. Any modified driver who can post back-to-back victories will still receive a $500 bonus, while any sportsman driver who accomplishes the same feat will receive a $250 bonus. The bonuses are only in effect during the regular season.
“In both divisions, it’s so hard to win one feature, much less two in a row,” said Madsen. “You have to be on top of your game, and luck also has to go your way. You have to catch the right cautions, and avoid the wrong ones.”
Last year, Madsen paid out the modified bonus on two occasions. Peter Britten won back-to-back features on July 1 and July 8, while Demetrios Drellos chalked up back-to-back victories on July 22 and July 29.
Ken Tremont Jr., a 13-time modified champion at Albany-Saratoga, was the only driver who earned the bonus during 2021.
“All the years we put in at Malta with Brett (Hearn), I know how hard it is to repeat,” said Madsen, who was Hearn’s car owner during some of Hearn’s best years at Malta, in a 2020 interview when he first instituted the bonus program. “After you get a win and get handicapped 18th, it’s really tough to get through that field.”
Adding the bonus program for the sportsman division is a good inventive, but it will probably be harder to earn than the modified bonus. There have been no back-to-back sportsman winners in the last two seasons. Both Tim Hartman Jr. and Andrew Buff achieved the feat during the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season in 2020. Hartman Jr. had back-to-back wins on June 19 and June 26, catching Brian Calabrese at the finish line on June 26 for the second win, and Buff had back-to-back wins on Aug. 21 and Aug. 28.
Albany-Saratoga Speedway will kick off its 58th season of racing on Friday, April 14, with a rain date of Sunday, April 16