Mechanicsburg – Australian champion James McFadden won his first ever World of Outlaws sprint car feature on Friday night while also scoring his first ever win at Williams Grove Speedway, scoring $10,000 for the victory in night two of the 2017 Champion Racing Oil National Open.
Aboard the Highlands No. 3, McFadden earned the pole for the 25-lap main event by winning the dash.
The initial start of the feature saw Greg Hodnett take the lead from McFadden as the pair raced out of the fourth corner to complete lap one before a light rain shower hit the track, halting action.
A complete restart with no laps completed was ordered after a 20-minute delay.
And this time McFadden took a solid lead over Hodnett and he was trying to open up substantial distance when the red flag unfurled with just three laps recorded for a four car accident in the third turn.
The cars of Danny Dietrich, Trey Starks and Brian Montieth connected and saw Jac Haudenschild blast into the pile, getting the worst of the damage.
Haudenschild was escorted back to the pit area by ambulance.
The rest of the 22 laps would go non-stop with McFadden driving out to a near two second lead by lap 10 and he entered the backmarkers on lap 11.
But even lapped traffic didn’t allow Hodnett to close in as McFadden was still 1.85 seconds ahead with 10 laps to go.
However as traffic got heavier and the race went longer, Hodnett began to encroach and with four laps to go the leader’s advantage was down to .89 seconds, which put the front duo nearly nose to tail with Donny Schatz lurking in third.
With three laps to go McFadden had just .60 seconds between himself and Hodnett and that’s when he came up on the backmarkers of Alan Krimes and Brian Brown and Alan Krimes battling for position.
And when McFadden misjudged Brown’s entry into the first corner, the result saw him hard on the binders with all four wheels seemingly pointed every direction but straight as he tried to avoid catastrophy as he set the car into the corner.
This put Hodnett and Schatz in prime position to drive by but somehow McFadden emerged from turn two still the leader with second and third breathing down his neck.
And the lack of breathing room got even less on the final lap as .34 seconds was the advantage as the white flag waved.
Hodnett made a last turns move to steal the win as the pair headed through the fourth corner, dipping to McFadden’s inside as the pair swooped around the cushion but McFadden was able to beat Hodnett back to the stripe by just .24 seconds for the prestigious victory.
Schatz rode home a challenging third followed by Brad Sweet and Shane Stewart.
Sixth through 10th went to Jason Johnson, Ian Madsen, Lucas Wolfe, Kerry Madsen and David Gravel.
Heats for the 46-car field went to Johnson, McFadden, Wolfe and Hodnett with Cory Haas taking the C Main and Lance Dewease taking the B Main.
Dewease dropped out of second place in the second heat with motor ills but then climbed to 11th in the main event.
Overall fast time was set by Jason Sides with a lap of 16.976 seconds.
Freddie Rahmer finished 27th in the feature and needs only to take a green flag in Saturday night’s National Open itself to clinch the 2017 Williams Grove Speedway track title.
The top four in National Open points heading into the final night of competition on Saturday that are locked into the Open dash are: Donny Schatz, David Gravel, James McFadden and Daryn Pittman.
Sept. 29, 2017
Sprint Car Feature (25 laps): 1. James McFadden, 2. Greg Hodnett, 3. Donny Schatz, 4. Brad Sweet, 5. Shane Stewart, 6. Jason Johnson, 7. Ian Madsen, 8. Lucas Wolfe, 9. Kerry Madsen, 10. David Gravel, 11. Lance Dewease, 12. Brent Marks, 13. Daryn Pittman, 14. Jason Sides, 15. TJ Stutts, 16. Brock Zearfoss, 17. Sheldon Haudenschild, 18. Ryan Smith, 19. Brian Brown, 20. Alan Krimes, 21. Kraig Kinser, 22. Trey Starks, 23. Brian Montieth, 24. Danny Dietrich, 25. Dale Blaney, 26. Jac Haudenschild, 27. Freddie Rahmer
Did Not Qualify: Cory Haas, Chad Trout, Tim Wagaman, Clyde Knipp, Jacob Allen, Nicole Bower, Jordan Givler, Max McGhee, Justin Barger, Kyle Pruitt, Troy Fraker, Logan Schuchart, Tim Shaffer, Matt Campbell, Greg Wilson, Anthony Macri, Rodney Westhafer, Parker Price Miller, Tony Stewart