Sprintcar star James McFadden now calls Warrnambool home.
The south-west’s ‘adopted son’ has recently relocated from Brisbane, Queensland in a bid to spend more time with family in between racing commitments.
McFadden, 26, is busy preparing for a jam-packed season, spending countless hours fine-tuning his car at his parents’ property in Allansford.
The two-time Australian Champion is one of the leading contenders to stand on the podium at Premier Speedway’s season-opener this Saturday night. The track will host a round of the newly-formed Ultimate Sprintcar Championship Victoria, which doubles as the third Eureka Garages & Sheds Series round.
Photo: Mel Parker Photography
McFadden is eager to win but it’s a bigger race – the coveted Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in January – which he most craves.
“I haven’t got that one on the resume yet so that’s the one I want the most,” he said.
“But you have to be pretty solid that whole weekend, so it’s tough to win.
“We haven’t really, for whatever reason, been any good there.
“Hopefully this year it can change.”
McFadden is part of a bumper Saturday night field, which includes multiple Australian champion David Murcott and local hotshot Jamie Veal.
“For us, it is a bit of a test and fine-tune for the upcoming weekends here in Warrnambool,” he said.
“With the Classic and Australian Title, it’s a big year for Warrnambool races.
“Murcott and Vealy, they are always tough but the way the competition is at the moment there are 15-20 drivers who can win it.”
McFadden, who is originally from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, said his decision to move to Warrnambool was in the best interests of his racing career. He will travel extensively across Australia between now and March for competitions and then intends to fly to America for the World of Outlaws Championship.
“My race team is based here (in Warrnambool) and my family too, so there was no reason to be in Brisbane anymore,” McFadden said.
“I love it here. A country town – you can’t beat it.”
McFadden’s mindset is the same – “to win as many races as we can”.
“We have a full-time (mechanic), Tim Gleeson, who is originally from Warrnambool too,” he said.
“He is handy on the sidelines, so there are definitely no excuses.”
This Saturday night at Premier Speedway will see another special moment for the McFadden family, with James McFadden’s younger sister, Rowie, set to make her Wingless Sprint debut.