James McFadden set to launch into Australian sprintcar season this weekend

NAPA Auto Parts-supported driver James McFadden will return to the Australian speedway scene at Max’s Race at Premier Speedway, Warrnambool this weekend.

Following a successful World of Outlaws campaign, McFadden will debut the new Hodges Motorsport entry at Max’s Race as build up to the prestigious 50th Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at the same venue in January.

McFadden and Hodges Motorsport will have a brand new Triple X Race Co chassis at its disposal as the Warrnambool local aims to secure a third Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic title.

Coming from a successful World of Outlaws campaign in the US where he finished seventh in the final standings for the iconic Roth Motorsport team in what is widely acknowledged the best speedway competition globally, McFadden will be one of more than 55 entries at Max’s Race.

The event is held annually to honour Australian speedway royalty, Max Dumesny.

McFadden will run for a unique group of team owners, led by IndyCar star Scott McLaughlin, Richmond AFL hero Jack Riewoldt and leading sports broadcaster Gerard Whateley, in a car that is the brainchild of former Warrnambool local, Melbourne sports producer, Tim Hodges.

McFadden says it’s exciting to be back home racing again.

“It’s good to be home, it’s good to be back in Warrnambool.

“I’m excited for the new venture with NAPA and Hodges Motorsport. It’s something new for us, it’s something to get excited about. We race a lot in America, so to come home and have a new group of people really excited about it, then having NAPA Auto Parts onboard as a major sponsor is pretty awesome.” he said.

Max’s Race kicks off a limited schedule of events for the NAPA Auto Parts-supported Hodges Motorsport and McFadden as Mount Gambier follows ahead of Avalon before the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic on January 27-29.

“I’m really excited for the Grand Annual Classic. It’s my favourite one of the year and being the 50th running of the Classic, it’s going to be pretty special. Hopefully we can stand up on top of that podium and spray some winner’s champagne.” McFadden said.

McFadden says he’s going to use this weekend to break the new car, as it’s a new configuration for him and he hasn’t used the chassis brand before.

“Between that and the different rules in America with tyres and wings that are a little different, it takes me a few laps to acclimatise to racing back in Australia, so I’ll use these few nights as much as I can to build a notebook and try to get a comfortable set-up the car likes and I’m happy with to ensure it is right for the Classic.

These next few races are crucial; one, for confidence with the team and two, just getting ourselves in a spot where we think we can win the Classic.” McFadden said.

Joining McFadden at the Grand Annual Classic in a Landrigan Motorsport NAPA Auto Parts-supported entry is four-time World of Outlaws title winner Brad Sweet.

Sweet took five wins this season in World of Outlaws to take his fourth title-on-the-trot for Kasey Kahne Racing and will enter the 50th Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in hot form.

Action for Max’s Race this weekend begins at 4pm on Saturday with live streaming being provided by Fitzmedia Productions with links available through the Premier Speedway’s Facebook page.