SOMETIMES the best sports stories are simply those of athletes overcoming adversity.
That couldn't ring any truer for James McFadden. The Warrnambool driver and his Kasey Kahne Racing crew beat a week of challenges to notch his fourth World Of Outlaws victory at Washington's Skagit Speedway on Saturday.
McFadden - who suffered a brutal crash this past Sunday when his car barrel rolled at the Rushmore Outlaw Showdown - had to then drive 18 hours and nearly completely rebuild their operation.
To make matters worse, his crew were forced to a spur-of-the-moment engine change early in the night but it couldn't derail the two-time South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic champion who celebrated his first American win alongside baby boy Maverick.
The triumph meant McFadden, originally from the Northern Territory, moved to tie New South Welshman Ian Madsen for 68th on the tour's all-time wins list.
"It's rewarding to rebound like this, especially after the big drama at the last race," McFadden told World Of Outlaws.
"These guys worked their butts off this week. The long drive here, then the day we had yesterday, then the motor change, just so much has happened. How fast they changed that motor tonight might've won us this race."
The 32-year-old had to survive a battle with American Sheldon Haudenschild before he could wave the checkered flag.
These guys worked their butts off this week. The long drive here, then the day we had yesterday, then the motor change, just so much has happened. How fast they changed that motor tonight might've won us this race.- James McFadden
McFadden led for all 30 laps in the A-main equivalent but always had Haudenschild, the son of two-time Grand Annual champion Jac, on his tail.
"Obviously, Sheldon is gonna pound it, so I knew getting the start was crucial," McFadden said. "I thought if I could short-slide myself and hit the cushion coming off that I would be okay. I've never raced here, but it seems pretty narrow and I tried to play that to my advantage as the leader. I wanted to run a little harder, but felt I should protect at the end."
McFadden followed up his Friday night win with a fourth-place finish on Saturday. He will race again on Sunday night (Monday morning AEST).
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