CONCORD, NC - As the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series heads into the final week of the 'Month of Money' all eyes turn to Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri for the Monroe Shocks and Struts Prelude to the Ironman on Friday and the Federated Auto Parts Ironman 55 presented by Walker on Saturday. With six different winners in the last six appearances, the third mile track just south of St. Louis, is one of the more challenging on the circuit.
Three drivers who know that challenge and how to come out on top are series regulars Kerry Madsen, Paul McMahan and Jason Sides - they are the only three current active series drivers to score victories at the track since 2010.
Madsen took home the coveted Ironman 55 trophy last season after battling past Donny Schatz midway through the feature. It was his first ever World of Outlaws win at the track.
"I'd been close to winning it before and we got taken out by a lap car with a couple of laps to go, so to finally win, it was good," Madsen said. "It's a major race and we couldn't do a whole lot wrong at that point last year, so hopefully we can get that mojo going on."
He said the track is one of his favorites.
"It's a long race and they've usually got the track pretty good so you can get up around the wall," Madsen said. "So it's definitely one of my favorite."
For McMahan, who stood in victory lane at the track at last season's Prelude to the Ironman after holding off Madsen, he said Pevely is a very demanding track for drivers.
"You've got to be very precise when it's on the bottom - you've got to be very precise when it's on the top," McMahan said. "Usually you've got a big cushion, it gets slick. They work on the race track most of the night so the race track stays good."
"The 55 laps is very demanding. If it's hot, it takes a lot out of a driver. It makes everything inside the cockpit hot and builds that much more heat in your body. Pevely is one of the funnest places and the Ironman 55 is one of the coolest races of the year."
With the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and POWRi Lucas Oil West Midget Series also running at the track during the Ironman weekend, McMahan said it will be interesting to see the how track changes.
"It might be a little bit slicker than normal," McMahan said. "It's a fun race track."
Like Madsen and McMahan, the track is also consistently a good one for Jason Sides. Sides, who last won at the track in 2012, led laps there in the spring, ultimately finishing in second. He said he always looks forward to the trips to Pevely.
"The Marlers always do a great job preparing the track," Sides said of track operator Ray Marler and his family. "It works well with my driving style."
Watch live on DIRTVision pay-per-view on Friday and Saturday as the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series takes on the Prelude to the Ironman and the Ironman 55 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.