ONE of Australia's most decorated broadcasters says sprintcar racing deserves more eyes on it.
Gerard Whateley, who will cover the Super Bowl in America and two of Australia's Test matches against India in the cricket-mad nation this month, was track-side for the 50th South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic.
The AFL360 co-host was part of the Hodges Motorsport team which won an A-Main and finished fifth overall.
"It's such an established event, the 50th year, and it's got such a great following but not enough of us in the general sporting world know about it," Whateley told The Standard.
"I would've been to the May (Racing) Carnival 10 times with my father-in-law in particular.
"I know the rituals of that and to know there's another Grand Annual with just as many people with just as big a hold...
"I guess in a way the whole thing has been surprising (for me) but it's one of those moments where you just need people to guide you towards it.
"It's worth knowing about. It's where I think Tim (Hodges has) done an amazing job for the event and the sport more broadly."
Whateley, who attended Saturday night with his son and was also at the track on Sunday, said two-time winner James McFadden, who drove for Hodges Motorsport, was worthy of recognition.
He said the World of Outlaws driver was a "terrific statesman for it as well as a great competitor".
"Getting to know James' story - it's an Australian sporting story that should be better known than it is - what he's achieving, the gamble he takes going to the States, the lifestyle they choose to chase that dream," he said.
"To hear that get a proper airing and appreciation (in mainstream media), people will follow James from now on and if he does go on and have the successes in the States that it looks like he might take aim at this year then there will be an appreciation for that."
Whateley spent time in the infield at Premier Speedway and enjoyed the chance to get up close to the action.
"The power of the cars out there is guttural... and how often they're sideways, so the skill and the courage (is incredible)," he said.
"Anytime you come to something like this, you marvel at the expertise."
Whateley will return to the AFL360 hot-seat following his overseas trip and expects intriguing story lines to form throughout the season, which kicks off in mid-March.
"I feel like by the end of last season Geelong were by far and away the best team and that was reflected in the last couple of weeks," he said of the premiers.
"Only the great teams go back-to-back. We all feel there's more than one premiership in Melbourne, Richmond are going to have one more go at it with this group, Carlton should rise and should rise fast, the Bulldogs have doubled down on what they've got.
"Brisbane Lions' recruiting has been excellent and we'll all be fascinated by Ross Lyon at St Kilda and Brad Scott at Essendon.
"I think it will be a hugely volatile and tumultuous year and it will be really exciting."
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