Madix “Madman” Bailey Chasing Crandon Dream
(Riverside, Calif.) – For the off-road racing community Labor Day weekend in the legendary and picturesque Northwoods of Crandon, Wis. is every bit as extraordinary and special as late February in Daytona Beach, Fla. is to the NASCAR world.
Hungry and determined, 17-year-old Pro Lite rising star, Madix “Madman” Bailey of the Riverside, Calif.-based Stronghold Motorsports / Lucas Oil team, fully recognizes the magnitude of his first start in the most anticipated and prestigious race of the year, the 52nd Polaris Crandon World Championships, Sept. 2-5.
Bailey has surveyed and scrutinized trucks roaring around the famous Crandon track many times as a fan. This year the talented, up-and-coming driver is relishing an opportunity to compete in it.
“It’s something I have looked forward to my entire life,” said Bailey, who enters the final Championship Off-Road race ranked No. 4 in the Pro Lite point standings. “Crandon is a truly amazing place and the atmosphere is like nothing else.”
A strong finish to a successful debut season in the Champ series is what the team is striving for.
Bailey knows there would be no more fulfilling ending than to go out atop the podium. A highly decorated and accomplished junior racer, and winner of three out of four Great American Short Course (GAS) races this season, Bailey knows he’s got the skillset, grit and drive to make his dream a reality. A chance to seize glory in front of his entire family is even more gratifying.
“I love it when my family gets to come watch me race,” said Bailey, the aspiring motorsports engineering student. “It adds extra pressure but it also helps push me.”
Bailey had an opportunity to run the Crandon track with the Champ Series in late June. He values the beneficial experience on the Northern Wisconsin soil, but knows the changes to the track combined with the rumble of tens of thousands of fans will make for a very different environment.
“It’s about staying calm and focused,” Bailey said. “From what I gathered in testing the track is pretty much the same, but there is a new lip out there that was really bucking the truck.” Bailey knows success is found in paying attention to the small details.
Through five races, Bailey has excelled in the Championship Off-Road series in his premier season, collecting three podium finishes, with one second and two thirds. After
finishing No. 3 in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series last season and being named Rookie of the Year, Bailey is pleased with the momentum his team was able to carry over to the Midwest.
“We have had some ups and downs, but it has been mostly positive. Our biggest setback came in Lena (Wis., Dirt City Motorplex) when I rolled the truck in the rain race,” said Bailey, who sees very little rain on the West Coast and suffered a DNF. “Other than that I feel like the team has really done a great job in a new series.”
The team also hopes to pick up a spot or two in the hotly-contested point standings by the end of the weekend.
Proud father and accomplished off-road driver in his own right, Brandon Bailey fondly recalls the first time he took his son to Crandon.
“He was only 6 or 7 and even at that age he knew it was a spectacle,” Brandon Bailey said. “To have a Bailey racing in the Crandon World Championships means a lot. We are really excited.”
Team Stronghold has participated in some massive and prominent West Coast events, but the team recognizes this will be its grandest stage yet, its Indy 500.
“The World Championship combined with the Cup race is something we have always dreamed about,” Brandon Bailey said. “This will certainly be the biggest short course race we have done.”
The dream becomes a reality for team Stronghold on Thursday where Bailey will participate in the event’s first official practice session, followed by the pomp and circumstance of the parade in downtown Crandon on Friday.
“To be able to interact with the fans is something I’m really looking forward to,” Bailey said “It’s a great way to get everyone pumped up.” Bailey appreciates recalling it wasn’t long ago that it was him in the fan role.
From the parade, the team will prepare for Saturday’s final points race, followed by Sunday’s 6th annual Red Bull Crandon World Cup. Win or lose, it’s a weekend where young Bailey will cherish every moment.
Be sure to follow Bailey throughout the weekend on the Stronghold Motorsports Facebook Page and social channels.