James McFadden Snaps All Star Drought

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James McFadden, shown here earlier this year at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, won his first Ollie's Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions feature of the season Thursday at the Plymouth Dirt Track. (Adam Fenwick Photo)
James McFadden, shown here earlier this year at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, won his first Ollie's Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions feature of the season Thursday at the Plymouth Dirt Track. (Adam Fenwick Photo)

PLYMOUTH, Wis. – Australia’s James McFadden helped the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 kick off a four-day trip through the Midwest by finding victory lane at Plymouth Dirt Track on Thursday night.

Although he was in charge for the majority of the 30-lap program, the first 11 circuits were a challenge for the now three-time All Star Circuit of Champions feature winner.

McFadden ultimately powered his way forward from the outside of row two, waging war with Monrovia, Indiana’s Justin Peck, who led from the drop of the green flag until McFadden took control on lap 12.

“Oh man, this feels good. We’ve been close on so many occasions, so it just feels great to get it done here tonight,” said McFadden, the driver of the Curb Records/Wicked Energy Gum/Wicked Cushion No. 9. “I can’t thank Kasey Kahne and this entire team enough for this opportunity. The track really played into our favor tonight.

“Hopefully we can do it again this weekend.”

Although forced to start fourth on the grid due to his All Star Circuit of Champions dash result, it only took one circuit for McFadden to find himself within striking distance. He moved ahead two spots into second by the completion of lap one, quickly setting aim on Peck, who led the first lap from the pole position.

By lap six, lapped traffic was already a factor, ultimately giving McFadden an opportunity to pounce as Peck tried to work around slower traffic. Despite Peck’s ability to get through the slower cars, McFadden stayed in view, actually pressuring Peck in the form of side-by-side racing on multiple occasions during laps nine through 11.

By lap 12, McFadden was in position to challenge for the lead, eventually using a hard drive into turns one and two to pull even with Peck down the backstretch, followed by a slider into turns three and four.

For McFadden, the bid for the top spot worked, securing the lead by the exit of turn four. Unfortunately, the lap was eventually negated, as Peck – who drove just as hard into turn three with the intention to get back around McFadden – stumbled on the cushion, caught the lip and flipped.

Peck walked away unharmed, but the incident allowed McFadden to inherit the top spot.

Although forced to deal with two more cautions, one of which was for another red flag incident on lap 15, McFadden remained in control at the front of the field, only pressured slightly on laps 19 through 23 as a pair of former All Star champions in Greg Wilson and Dale Blaney edged their noses into a fight for the lead.

Traffic did pop back into the picture on lap 17, creating a slight hiccup for the former World Series of Sprintcars champion, but it proved to be no match for McFadden, who continued to utilize the bottom groove around Plymouth Dirt Track to remain the man on top.

Greg Wilson chased McFadden to the final checkers, followed by Dale Blaney. A hard-charging Aaron Reutzel came from 14th to finish fourth, while Paul McMahan was fifth.

The finish:

A-Main (30 laps): 1. 9-James McFadden [4]; 2. W20-Greg Wilson [5]; 3. 11-Dale Blaney [7]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [14]; 5. 13-Paul McMahan [8]; 6. 70-Brock Zearfoss [2]; 7. 26-Cory Eliason [3]; 8. 2C-Wayne Johnson [9]; 9. 2M-Kerry Madsen [6]; 10. 99-Skylar Gee [17]; 11. 17B-Bill Balog [13]; 12. O2-Mike Reinke [12]; 13. 5J-Jeremy Schultz [15]; 14. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski [19]; 15. O7-Gerard McIntyre [18]; 16. 64-Scotty Thiel [10]; 17. 2AU-Andrew Scheuerle [11]; 18. 85M-Steve Meyer [16]; 19. 4B-Scott Biertzer [24]; 20. 14M-Marcus Dumsney [20]; 21. 68-Dave Uttech [21]; 22. 2W-Scotty Neitzel [22]; 23. 65-Jordan Goldesberry [23]; 24. 70X-Justin Peck [1]

Lap Leaders: Justin Peck (1-11), James McFadden (12-30)

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