Las Vegas' Madrid wins World Championship, helps U.S. team win World Cup

Story courtesy Joe Maylish, 600 Racing

Jack Madrid won the 2008 Legends Cars Semi-Pro and Young Lion world points championship on Dec. 9 after a season-long journey.  The 13-year-old Sig Rogich H.S. student competed in his first full season as a Legends Cars driver, Jack finished first out of 108 drivers - including racers from England, Scotland, Russia and Canada.  The Dove Canyon, Calif., native moved to Las Vegas specifically for the opportunity to be able to race more in 2008. 

Competing in 45 races on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway road courses, the Bullring, the quarter-mile LVMS superspeedway infield oval, Orange Show Speedway, Lake Havasu and Blythe, Jack steadily improved his ranking in both oval and road course national points.   His racing season began with five wins in the Silver State Championship held at LVMS in January and February.  Halfway through the year, it was evident that Jack was one of the leading contenders to win the road course national championship.  His family packed up and hit the road to Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City in July.  Jack earned more victories and moved into first place. 

With a strong road course contingent from England, Calif., Va. and Okla., racking up points and making the championship chase tighter each week, Jack returned to the Bullring to complete the season.  Finishing second in Bullring points in the Semi-Pro Division (ages 12 and older), 19th in Semi-Pro INEX national points and 11th in INEX Young Lions national points (ages 12-15), Madrid set his sights on road course racing once again.  

On Oct. 18-19, Jack won both races, including the regional race on the Oct. 19 on the 4.3-mile track.  With the regional victory in hand, Jack needed only to have a strong finish at the World Finals to win the championship.

Jack was also elected to the represent the U.S. against the world for the World Cup finals.  The World Cup is a competition between the American and foreign racers similar to pro golf's Ryder Cup.  The U.S. team consisted of Madrid, Bobby Pugh, Frankie Marks, Robert Gayton and William Lincks.

The weekend began strong for Madrid, qualifying third out of 26 cars. He finished third in his heat race.  Disaster struck on lap 7 of the 11-lap feature race on the 2.21-mi. circuit and he finished 15th after his car died, the victim of a fuel line pick-up failure.  When the points were added and poor finishes dropped, Madrid's nine victories helped cinch both the Young Lions and Semi-Pro championships.  The World Cup also was won by the U.S. team, with a 28-21 victory over the world team.

"I'm blessed to win the World Championship," said Madrid, "but even more proud to be elected to represent the U.S. against the Europeans and Russians in the World Cup competition.  Bringing the cup back to the U.S. was an even bigger win than the world championship."