KOKOMO, Ind. — Making his 100th World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series start Friday at Kokomo Speedway, Australian James McFadden led the final 30 laps for his first victory of the season.
McFadden held off his Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb teammate, Brad Sweet, to secure a one-two finish for the team on the quarter-mile dirt track, ending Sweet’s four-race winning streak in the series.
McFadden earned $10,000 for the third WoO victory of his career.
“I’m just pumped to be here right now, man,” said McFadden. “I gotta thank Kasey [Kahne] and this whole KKR team; it’s a pleasure to drive this car. I’m glad I can do it justice and put in victory lane. It’s good to get one on that NAPA car. He’s been laying it on us, so hopefully we can get on our little roll now.”
Nearly perfect on the night, McFadden was the fast qualifier, won the first heat and finished second to David Gravel in the dash.
Aboard the Big Game Motorsports No. 2, Gravel paced the opening 10 circuits of feature action before lapped traffic allowed McFadden to capitalize. Moving up a lane as Gravel became mired on the bottom behind back markers, McFadden quickly swooped right by Gravel on lap 11 and never looked back.
Hampered by six cautions, Saturday’s feature saw a lap two mechanical issue for Donny Schatz, lap 21 problem for Logan Schuchart, lap 26 trouble for Tim Kaeding, lap 30 red flag for Carson Short,lLap 37 spin for Jason Sides and David Gravel’s lap 38 tire incident.
McFadden survived a green-white-checkered restart and ran off to a 1.059-second advantage at the checkered flag.
“The track was surprisingly tough tonight, it just changed around a bunch,” McFadden noted. “I was running the top to get around David, but it go so dirty that I felt like I needed to get to the bottom. We got through lap traffic really well, and I think that was big. Being in victory lane six races in is pretty awesome.”
Chasing McFadden to the stripe was Sweet, who rallied from 12th on lap one to finish in second, extending his career-best streak of consecutive podium finishes to a whopping nine races.
“I just shot myself in the foot during qualifying tonight,” Sweet said. “Once we got to third in the feature I think the track just moved down and we ran out of options. I tried the top on the green-white-checkered, but felt like I was gonna give up second and had to come back down. That’s what you have to do sometimes: get the best finish you possibly can. Tonight is a great testament to our team. It’s fun to be disappointed with second.”
Finishing third and landing on the podium for the first time in his World of Outlaws career was Justin Peck. The Monrovia, Ind., native drove from 11th-to-third aboard the Tom Buch-owned No. 13.
“Our team morale is pretty high right now, so it makes working with these guys super easy,” Peck noted. “We’ve got everything hooked up right now. It’s great to be on the podium, but obviously we want to be a little better. That KKR team is just outstanding right now. We’ve got a little bit to clean up on our end.”
Ian Madsen and Sheldon Haudenschild, who started 21st, rounded out the top five.
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