Leading Australian sprintcar driver James McFadden will return home for a second year to spearhead the NAPA Auto Parts backed Hodges Motorsport entry for this summer’s biggest speedway events. McFadden has just completed the most successful World of Outlaws season of his career in the USA – highlighted by a seven-win haul and a top ten championship finish.

The popular Warrnambool racer will join forces for a second straight season with a team featuring high profile owners: IndyCar superstar Scott McLaughlin, AFL legend Jack Riewoldt and leading sports broadcaster Gerard Whateley.

“It was a fun concept to put this team together last year in the space of three or four months and I loved every second of it – so we thought, why not go again,” McFadden said.

“The results proved we got to the top level of the sport in an unbelievably short amount of time – so for our second season we hope we can give ourselves an even better shot at more success.

“I love how invested the high profile boys have been in this project and I love the commitment NAPA has with the program we are running – they are such a big and iconic part of speedway in the USA, so it’s so cool to be running the NAPA colours on a sprintcar in Australia.”

The striking NAPA-backed blue Hodges Motorsport Car #5 was a huge success story in its inaugural season last summer. Led by former local, Melbourne based sports producer, Tim Hodges – the team won events at Warrnambool, Avalon and Mount Gambier – and created enormous publicity for the port. McFadden says it was a career highlight.

“I’ve always been a part of professional race teams – in Australia and in the States – but the level of professionalism stepped up with Car 5,” McFadden said.

“It changed the sport, it changed the perception of the sport and it brought more eyeballs over here in Australia than it’s ever been able to attract with the names involved – so it was really cool to be a part of that.”

McFadden’s summer goal is again the prestigious Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic, plus the Australian Sprintcar Championships – which will both be held at Warrnambool’s Premier Speedway in January.

“I won’t lie, I didn’t like running fifth in the Classic,” McFadden, a two-time winner of the event said.

“To be top five in that field was still seriously impressive with our team – but I’m not here to make up the numbers.

“That’s our Melbourne Cup – that’s our sport’s biggest race of all and I’d love to win another one in January.”

The Hodges Motorsport/McFadden entry will again be backed by NAPA Auto Parts, and after a successful campaign in 2022/23, NAPA’s Head of Sponsorship, Mitch Wiley says that it was a no-brainer to continue the partnership.

“The team at NAPA are really excited to return with James McFadden and the Hodges Motorsport team this season,” said Wiley.

“James was in incredible form last year and was a terrific ambassador for NAPA, both on and off track.

“He has been in great form in the United States, and backed by the team at Hodges Motorsport, we expect that they’ll be as competitive as ever. Everyone at NAPA Auto Parts wishes them the best.”

McFadden’s first event with the team will be Max’s Race in Warrnambool on December 16 – an event paying tribute to local speedway legend Max Dumesny.