WARRNAMBOOL sprintcar driver James McFadden is using a two-month visit home to recharge as he prepares to join Roth Motorsport for the 2022 American racing season.
McFadden, who will drive for Monte Motorsport while in Australia, will return to the states in February for a jam-packed 10-month season.
He was named World of Outlaws' rookie of the year after scoring two wins for Kasey Kahne Racing in 2021.
McFadden, 32, said joining Roth Motorsport was a "right place, right time" situation.
"They've basically been doing the tour for about 25 years, so it's a staple and a historic team over there," McFadden told The Standard.
"It's had a lot of really good drivers and success. It's an exciting venture. I will also have guys who were with me at KKR come to Roth so it's a bit of stability.
"It's something I am pretty privileged to be a part of."
McFadden will return to the driver's seat on December 18 when Max's Race kicks off Premier Speedway's new season.
The Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic - a race he's won twice - will round out his Australian campaign in late January.
"A successful season with Monte would be nice. Those guys have done right by me and kept me in the car with a short season," he said.
"It's always good fun racing with those guys. That (the classic) is the race I grew up wanting to win and it's always on the radar.
"For me it's one of the top-five in the world."
McFadden will take lessons, including how to deal with a hectic schedule, from his first full season in the US when he returns in February.
He travelled across the country, racing in places like New York, California, Texas, Ohio and Kansas.
"The racing part of it was the easiest part of the whole tour," he said.
"My partner Zoe, baby Mav and myself lived in an RV on the road and I think we did about 30,000 kilometres in six or seven months.
"Driving up and down the road is tough. Not being able to get away from it - you're always either travelling to the next race or trying to figure out how to get to the next race and then racing.
"If you have a bad night it compounds and it's really hard mentally to get out of that rut."
The varying track conditions and layouts were another challenge McFadden had to overcome.
"Everything you can think of was thrown at us - you had really big, half miles, like Bristol which is a Nascar track and they put dirt on it and we raced there and it was crazy, 150, 160 miles an hour," he said.
"Then you go to tiny places the size of Mount Gambier that are really, really slow.
"The diversity and way you have to change your driving style over there is crazy.
"Even different dirt in different states is huge. It keeps you on your toes."
Full-time racing is a thrill for the two-time Australian sprintcar championship winner.
But he knows his career will take a different path in coming years.
"I have a few years left (racing). There's only a certain amount of time my body can handle getting smashed around," McFadden said.
"I am not a lifer, as we call it. I'll still be involved in it but I don't plan on driving."
Down time in Warrnambool was what McFadden, who embraced the chance to immerse himself in America's sports scene including college football and Major League Baseball, required.
He arrived home at the weekend, having avoided Victoria's COVID-19 lockdowns.
"It was wide open (in America). If you didn't look at social media or the news, you wouldn't know COVID existed," McFadden said.
"It was pretty crazy, to come from how we were over here to over there.
"There were massive crowds and you could do whatever you wanted at restaurants.
"Every country did it their way. It was actually nice to live life pretty normally."
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