RPW Column By: LUCAS BALLARD / RPW – SPENCERTOWN, NY – With a new decade of racing right around the corner, Madsen Motorsports, who’s enjoyed more than a decade of success with future hall of fame driver Brett Hearn, will be changing things up quite a bit for the 2020 racing season.
For the 2020 season, the Madsen team will have a new driver in their Big Block Modified program as former Lebanon Valley Modified Champion Mark Flach Jr. comes on board to drive for the team.
The team will also have an entry at Albany-Saratoga Speedway this season as co-owner and Team Manager Brian Madsen’s son, Dylan, will get behind the wheel on Friday nights in the Limited Sportsman division.
Madsen also stated that the team will field a car for Hearn for about 10-15 races this season. The schedule is being formulated but this will give the veteran time to concentrate on his full-time job as part of the management team at Orange County.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Brian to discuss what is in store for the season ahead of them.
The first thing we discussed was the changes for Friday nights. With Hearn’s semi-retirement, this left an empty seat in the Madsen Overhead Doors entry Albany-Saratoga car. Brian, being a former driver himself, decided it was time to pass the torch on to his son.
The 20-year-old Dylan is set to make his racing debut at the Malta, NY oval in 2020. He’s earned the opportunity through hard work and determination.
“I really didn’t give him the chance to race until he figured out the work ethic,” Brian said. “I wanted him to understand what it was all about. He has to do a full day at work then prep the cars at night. This season is just to get our feet wet with him. That’s kind of how I started.”
Though this will be his first season behind the wheel of a race car, Dylan opted to keep a tradition going which his dad may not have seen coming.
“Dylan said he wanted to use number 89,” Brian said. “That’s the number I ran and I have to say, that’s pretty cool.”
While Dylan has never been in the seat of a race car, he is being held to the highest of standards by the people making it all possible.
“His whole life he’s been there with Brett, so he’s learned from the best,” Brian said. “Now he just has to see if he remembers any of it.”
For that, the younger Madsen is ready for the opportunity.
“I’m excited about the experience,” Dylan said. “I want to give them some good performances. I don’t want to go out there and run last every week for the amount of hard work they put in for me.”
While Dylan’s opportunity has been granted through hard work, he’s grateful to the people for helping him make it all possible.
“I have to thank Dana, Uncle Wes and Brandon,” he said. “They’re the ones grinding every night with me. They’re the ones making sure I have a car ready for the track. I also couldn’t do this without my grandparents, my mom, my dad, my sister and everyone involved with our team.”
The other big news coming out of the Madsen team is with their Saturday night program. Brian’s very proud to announce the return of Mark Flach Jr. to a Big Block Modified this coming season. Flach will be competing weekly at the Lebanon Valley Speedway in what many may not be familiar with when you think of his name.
The driver, who most recently has started Flach Performance Products, will be competing in the team’s most recent Teo Pro Car they used at Lebanon with Hearn. It will be outfitted with an Enders powerplant under the hood.
The biggest change for Flach is the number he’ll run this season.
“I wanted him to have a clean start with a new number,” Brian stated. “Even though the #77 has a lot of meaning with Mark, and the #20 with us, it was best to have a fresh beginning and we believe we’ve made a good choice.”
The team will utilize the #22 in place of Mark’s customary digits.
“I’ve always been a fan of the Penske 22 car,” Flach said. “This season will be a new chapter in my racing career. It’ll be a whole new deal for me and I can’t wait.”
The 2020 season will be the first time Flach has returned to the driver’s seat since his near career-ending accident at the Land of Legends Raceway in 2013. Stay tuned to Race Pro Weekly on Tuesday to hear more about Mark’s return and the driving force behind coming back this season.