MECHANICSBURG, PA — Australian James McFadden scored his first career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win in exciting fashion holding off Greg Hodnett and Donny Schatz to win the second night of the Williams Grove Champion Racing Oil National Open. Heading into tomorrow’s finale, Donny Schatz leads the National Open points and will be locked in to tomorrow’s Craftsman Club Dash. David Gravel, McFadden and Daryn Pittman are also locked in to tomorrow’s Dash.
McFadden, who has spent the majority of the past two Summer’s running in Central Pennsylvania for Matt Highlands, won his heat race and the Craftsman Club Dash to earn the pole of the 25-lap Feature.
Racing was delayed twice due to rain throughout the evening, once during the C Main and again after the initial start of the Feature.
After the final rain delay, McFadden got the jump on the complete restart over fellow front row starter, Greg Hodnett. A lap three red flag for Jac Haudenschild, who went for a wild ride after Danny Dietrich and Trey Starks got together, halted the action. Haudenschild walked away from the incident. On the ensuing double-file restart, Dale Blaney received contact and ended up on the hook setting up a single-file start.
McFadden once again was strong extending his lead as he approached traffic. McFadden had no problems with the first few lapped cars but was slowed significantly as he approached Alan Krimes, on the bottom, and Brian Brown, on the cushion.
“The track was equal. The bottom and the top were nearly the same speed. Krimes kept hitting the bottom perfectly and Brown was flirting with that cushion. I nearly destroyed myself and ended up in the trees trying to get by them,” McFadden said.
McFadden followed Krimes and Brown for the better part of the last ten laps, waiting to make a move. McFadden eventually got around Krimes but then was pinched hard by Brown, forcing him across the track allowing Krimes to get back by down low and more importantly allow Greg Hodnett and Donny Schatz to be on the leader’s back bumper.
Luckily for McFadden, he was able to work through lapped traffic and fend off a late race effort from both Hodnett and Schatz to score both his first career World of Outlaws and Williams Grove win.
“This is pretty amazing. I have never won on a half-mile before and to do so in Pennsylvania is pretty crazy,” an elated McFadden said in Victory Lane. The result was good enough for McFadden to lock into tomorrow’s Craftsman Club Dash as he sits third in event points.
Hodnett, who finished just .244 behind McFadden, and Schatz completed the podium. Brad Sweet and Shane Stewart completed the top five.
The Champion Racing Oil National Open comes down to Saturday night where the winner will take home a hefty $50,000 check.
-World of Outlaws Press Release
-Photo Credit: Paul Arch