HEDGER: The Long Look


When asked if the fact that sprint cars are more dangerous was a consideration, Britten nods again.

“Yeah, you can get hurt in anything but I think modifieds are a bit safer than the sprint cars. But no matter what you race, I think that safety considerations are worse here than at home,” Britten said. “There are a lot more opportunities for a head on impact with the end of walls here and modifieds can take that better. Someone can tag you and put you in a bad situation very easily here and I don’t want to end my career in a wheel chair someday.

“You won’t go to a track in Australia without continuous concrete all the way around and really good catch fences, but it’s not like that here. I’ve seen a lot of tracks where the walls are wavy with openings you can hit.

“Australians are big on insurance and liability issues, plus the East Coast tracks there are generally smaller. Most are three-eighths-mile or so, and there’s nothing big there like Fonda, Canandaigua or Syracuse, where you really fly. But I found I loved Syracuse, though it’s a whole different animal. I guess I’d say that I love it but wouldn’t want to do it every week.”

By the time the conversation gets back around to sprint cars, the affable Australian changes his tune a bit.

“I might take a chance in them if a good ride became available. I’d still love to do it, because I grew up watching them. All the American stars came to Queensland and Archerfield, plus we have great racers of our own,” Britten continued. “I always looked up to Tatnell and Kerry Madsen and now James McFadden is on the way up. He’s a lot like me in that he’s young and trying to establish himself. He’s the real deal and if he gets a good ride, he’ll shake up the older sprint car guys.”

So far, the personable and talented Britten has a pair of wins in New York, one at Brewerton and another this season at Albany-Saratoga. Now that he’s seen the tour tracks more than once or twice, he runs well everywhere and has become a crowd favorite.

Besides, who can resist that accent?