ATTICA, Ohio — To say Ian Madsen and Sam McGhee Motorsports have been close to victory is a slight understatement.
After five runner-up finishes during FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 competition this season, Madsen broke through during night one of the 39th Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Hercules Tires at Attica Raceway Park.
With his victory, Madsen is also the official Speedweek points leader, one step closer to the $5,000 championship check that will be awarded at the conclusion of the eight-race/nine-day campaign on June 19.
In addition, the $6,000 Attica triumph was Madsen’s first trip to All Star victory lane since Four Crown Nationals competition at Eldora Speedway in 2016. Madsen now owns a grand total of four All Star victories.
“This is kind of unreal. I’m a little speechless right now,” Madsen said. “It’s been so long since I won a race and it’s an incredible feeling to finally do it again. I can’t thank Sam McGhee Motorsports enough for giving me the opportunity this year. These guys took a chance on me to come out here and win races this year. We’ve been painfully close so many times. It feels awesome to get the first one.”
After a hard-fought battle for second with the Coldren Motorsports entry piloted by Skylar Gee, taking the position officially on lap eight, Ian Madsen set his aim on race leader and outside-pole sitter, Justin Peck. Peck, who opened up to a stout advantage, found himself dancing with lapped cars by lap 10, which allowed Madsen to close the gap.
By lap 12, Madsen had all but caught the Buch Motorsports No. 13, eventually sneaking by his fellow All Star championship contender on the bottom of turn four the following circuit. Refusing to give up, Peck tried his best to get back by the Mike McGhee & Associates No. 11, working up a wicked slider through turns three and four on lap 15.
Incidental contact between the two would ultimately lead to Peck spinning to a stop at the top of turn four; Madsen would survive and maintain the point position.
The remainder of Madsen’s effort would see little in the form of challenges. A series of cautions would keep the Australian out of thick traffic and out of harm’s way.
Cory Eliason would battle ahead from fifth to finish second, followed by Gee, Cole Macedo and Tyler Courtney, who rallied from 15th to claim his top-five outcome.
“You really can’t pace yourself when you have guys like Cory (Eliason) behind you,” Ian Madsen continued. “I ended up moving down the track, which made me a little nervous, but it all worked out.”
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 11-Ian Madsen ; 2. 26-Cory Eliason ; 3. O7-Skylar Gee ; 4. 18-Cole Macedo ; 5. 7BC-Tyler Courtney ; 6. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 7. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 8. 8M-TJ Michael ; 9. 4-Cap Henry ; 10. 5-Paul McMahan ; 11. 17B-Bill Balog ; 12. 13-Justin Peck ; 13. 35-Stuart Brubaker ; 14. 19-Paige Polyak ; 15. 10-Zeb Wise ; 16. 25R-Jordan Ryan ; 17. 49X-Cale Thomas ; 18. 22-Brandon Spithaler ; 19. 101-Lachlan McHugh ; 20. 55V-CJ Leary ; 21. W20-Greg Wilson ; 22. 23-Chris Andrews ; 23. 1-Nate Dussel ; 24. 5R-Byron Reed ; 25. 70-Trey Jacobs  Lap Leaders: Justin Peck (1-12), Ian Madsen (13-40)