ONE of Australia's best young sprintcar drivers grew up honing his craft on a track which will soon be closed.
Reigning South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic winner Lachlan McHugh said confirmation Brisbane's Archerfield Raceway would close in June 2023 was disappointing but expected.
The Gold Coast-based McHugh, 24, said he hoped a new complex would be built in coming years.
"Archerfield is my local track, it's only 40 minutes from my house," he told The Standard.
"It is where I started racing. I kind of always knew this day was going to come - it's been sold and not sold quite a few times.
"It's sad to see it go."
McHugh, whose closest track will become Toowoomba two hours away, said speedway needed a track in Queensland's capital.
"I'd say it would be a while off if anything did happen," he said.
"I think losing Brisbane is going to hurt car numbers a fair bit with one less track.
"A few people will probably leave the sport but hopefully we can get a few more races around that area and make up the numbers."
McHugh is enjoying a stint in Victoria and South Australia and won speedweek's second installment at Mount Gambier on Wednesday night from in-form Tasmanian Jock Goodyer who won Max's Race at Premier Speedway prior to Christmas.
"We were quick-time and had decent heats and were quickest in the shootout which put us off pole in the feature," he said.
"We struggled a bit at the start of the feature and dropped back to fourth and mid-race distance we started coming back towards the front and I think we only got the lead with four laps to go.
"There was a couple of lines you could use so it made for good racing, you could pass."
Warrnambool's James McFadden's hot start in the new Hodges Motorsport car saw him claim third, making it two podium finishes from two attempts.
Jamie Veal, another driver from Warrnambool, was fourth from impressive American teenager Chase Randall who made it back-to-back top-five finishes in his first Australian races.
Grant Anderson, who won an SRA Series round at Simpson this week, stormed home from 18th to finish sixth in the A-Main.
McHugh will now contest speedweek's third round at Avalon on Friday night before rolling in for the finale at Allansford's Premier Speedway on New Year's Day.
He also plans to race the rescheduled Victorian title at the track on Monday.
"It was good to get a win (at Mount Gambier); we struggled at the first at Murray Bridge a bit so it was good to bounce back," McHugh said.
Races up north will follow before he tries to defend his classic crown in late January.
"We'll do three nights at Sydney and will then go up to Queensland and do some racing up there," he said.
"Then we'll be back for classic week. It's pretty tough competition with a few extra guys who have come over (from the US), so it will make it a bit more difficult but we're looking forward to it.
"We always have a good run at Warrnambool most of the time so hopefully we can keep that going."
McHugh, who would love to win the Australian title in Perth, plans to spend a chunk of 2023 racing in the United States too as his profile continues to grow.
"I did go there (this year) for a short while, maybe two months," he said.
"I had a couple of decent results but struggled for a bit of it but I'm looking to probably do a bit more properly and go for longer."
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