WARRNAMBOOL, Australia — Reigning Australian sprint car champion James McFadden blasted to an emphatic victory over seven-time Knoxville Nationals winner Donny Schatz to win Friday’s opening night of the 42nd Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at Premier Speedway.
On a slick surface in front of 5,500 fans McFadden was patient in his drive to collar the American star on lap 23 and grabbed a deserved win at the venue, which has brought him great success.
Trevor Green was third after an early battle with Schatz for the lead and the 1997 Classic winner looked again in ominous form after two wins in as many weeks in Sydney just prior to the Classic. Shaun Dobson finished fourth
McFadden said he was happy to finally bag a big race win.
“It’s good to final get back where we finally should be. I knew it would come down to lap traffic and for us now it’s a big look ahead to Sunday night for us,” McFadden said.
Schatz still was looking forward to the final night’s action also.
“I didn’t expect the track to take that much rubber,” Schatz said. “I got it right on the slick and James did a great job and he did a clean pass. We did the best we could tonight, but we juts got beat. It’s as simple as that.”
The 2014 Classic has drawn a record 118 cars, featuring 20 visiting American drivers.