Since being hired as the substitute driver of Kasey Kahne’s mount while Kahne recovers from racing injuries, Australian James McFadden has been performing quite well.
Thus far, the highlight of his stint behind the wheel of the KKR No. 9 is topping the field at the 29th annual MyPlace Hotels Knoxville 360 Nationals presented by Great Southern Bank.
His performance in the ASCS-sanctioned event netted him a $15,000 winner’s check.
The first preliminary night kicked off with South Dakota’s Dusty Zomer earning quick time of the night’s 42 entries, with a lap of 16.267 seconds.
Lee Grosz, Calvin Landis, Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Trey Starks timed second through fifth, respectively, in a format that is similar to the 410 Knoxville Nationals, offering 200 points for quick time (falling two per position) and 200 points for the prelim feature win (falling two per position), with 100 points to heat winners (falling three per position).
Ryan Giles and Rob Kubli sat on the front row for the 20-lap Dingus Lounge Qualifying Night feature. Giles took the point at the green and never looked back, leading flag-to-flag to earn the win, with Aaron Reutzel second, and Wayne Johnson, Cory Eliason and Thomas Kennedy rounding out the top five.
On the Harvest Iowa Corn Growers Qualifying Night the remaining 55 cars took to the track to earn points toward creating the lineup for the Saturday night finale.
NATIONALS (25 laps)
1 – James McFadden
2 – Brian Brown
3 – Wayne Johnson
4 – Aaron Reutzel
5 – Joey Saldana
6 – Davey Heskin
7 – Cory Eliason
8 – Thomas Kennedy
9 – Dusty Zomer
10 – Matt Juhl
11 – Giovanni Scelzi
12 – Austin McCarl
13 – Sam Hafertepe Jr.
14 – Paul McMahan
15 – Colby Copeland
16 – Mason Daniel
17 – Ryan Giles
18 – Terry McCarl
19 – Parker Price-Miller
20 – Justin Henderson
21 – Carson McCarl
22 – Harli White
23 – Scott Bogucki
24 – Lee Grosz
Joey Saldana topped the qualifying field with a lap of 15.993 seconds, with James McFadden, Scott Bogucki, Paul McMahan and Brian Brown rounding out the top-five fastest qualifiers.
Davey Heskin took the lead at the green until McFadden took over the point on lap 17. McFadden stayed out front for the remainder of the 20-lapper to earn the win.
On Saturday, McFadden and Saldana made up the front row for the A-main finale. McFadden took the lead at the start, with Brian Brown, Saldana, Wayne Johnson and Reutzel making up the top five.
Two laps later, Brown took over the lead, but the next lap McFadden took the lead again.
Brown took the lead again on lap seven, before McFadden fought back yet again a lap later. As the leaders got into lapped traffic, Brown began running down McFadden, but McFadden held him off to claim the win.
Brown took second, with Johnson, Reutzel and Saldana rounding out the top five.