FRESNO, Calif. – Roth Motorsports has officially finalized a deal with Toyota Racing Development and Speedway Engine Development to field TRD 410ci engines in its No. 83jr sprint car driven by Kerry Madsen.
Madsen, who will run roughly 40 to 50 races for Roth this year, is now the lead driver behind the continual progress of Toyota Racing Development and USA Engines in sprint car racing.
“The Toyota thing is going to be fun in this sort of development deal, so there’s a lot going for it,” Madsen told Sprint Car & Midget in a phone interview in December. “It’s actually pretty exciting.”
Madsen’s role mirrors the part played by Gio Scelzi and KCP Racing from January through the first weekend of October last year when it pioneered TRD 410ci engines.
KCP Racing and TRD split following Williams Grove National Open weekend Oct. 1-2.
TRD had since worked with Aaron Reutzel and Ridge & Sons Racing as well as Lucas Wolfe and the Allebach No. 5w team in Central Pennsylvania.
Roth Motorsports also ran the new TRD engine in select races toward the end of this year with Tyler Courtney.
Madsen’s debut in the car is set for March 11 at California’s Thunderbowl Raceway, part of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car Series six-race swing in the Golden State.
The team will compete in sprint car racing’s biggest events, such as the Knoxville Nationals and Kings Royal, but the rest of the schedule revolves around the direction of TRD’s sprint car engine program.
“The intricate part of the schedule is contingent upon how it’s all working out with the engine and what we can do, whatever makes sense there,” said Madsen, who won eight races in Tony Stewart Racing’s No. 14 sprint car last year. “We’re pretty committed to Toyota so whatever makes sense to make that work.”
Madsen will jump from one developmental program in the Ford Performance Stewart 410ci undertaking to guiding TRD’s sophomore season in 410 sprint car racing.
Even so, the scenarios are more dissimilar than similar because Ford had been a year into its deal with Donny Schatz and Stewart before Madsen’s instant burst of success.
TRD, meanwhile, is still seeking that same kind of grounding
“Going to the junior car and with the Beef Packers and with the Toyota team, it’s the same sort of thing. It’s a great team, factory backing now with Toyota,” Madsen said. “Obviously when you’re developing engines, consistency could be an issue over time but I’m excited and expect to have great runs over there.
“Not sure where we’re at with the Toyota [engine] until we start getting some laps on and seeing where we’re at. They have a reasonably good handle on it. There’s just a lot of little processes to go through.
“At the same time we expect to go out and compete for wins. There’s some unknowns there, but I’m really confident they’ll do a good job. But you have to be realistic. I expect to do well.”