McFadden wins Shootout

Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

Victorian James McFadden won the war of attrition to claim the 2017 Krikke Boys Shootout title at the QUIT Bunbury Speedway on Sunday night.

In an A-Main riddled with crashes and engine failures, McFadden displayed sublime skill and a will to win, going from pole position and never surrendering the lead in the 35-lap feature to become just the 11th driver to claim a Krikke Boys Shootout title.

Brooke Tatnell drove well to place second in the Shootout.
Camera IconBrooke Tatnell drove well to place second in the Shootout.

McFadden said this was a special victory for him having driven for the late Shane Krikke and Krikke Motorsports last year in the final race before his death.

“This is a pretty prestigious race to win,” he said.

“It is not about the money, it is about the reasons we race.

“To win it and have my name on the plaque is something pretty special.

“I was fortunate enough to drive in the last race that he (Shane) was around.

“This is something really special. This is a pretty awesome feeling.”

Six-time champion Robbie Farr burns up the track.
Camera IconSix-time champion Robbie Farr burns up the track. Credit: Jon Gellweiler and Richard Hathaway

McFadden said he knew Steven Lines was on his tail for much of the race, but he kept moving forward without fear.

“I kept trying to glance at the big screen, but I could not really see too much,” he said.

“I was just racing my own race as it was pretty treacherous on the top (of the track).”

James McFadden was easily the fastest across the track on Sunday night.
Camera IconJames McFadden was easily the fastest across the track on Sunday night.

McFadden said he was confident going into the race, having found his feet at the Bunbury track in the past couple of years.

“It is an awesome way to cap off the season,” he said.

McFadden said his team would be back to defend the title next year.

Two of McFadden’s main competitors in Jamie Veal and Lines were the victims of unfortunate technical issues, with Veal’s engine failing to start after a crash in the 21st lap.

This moved Lines into second spot, but he too would not finish the race, running out of fuel in the final few laps and driving into the inner circle unable to defend his title.

Callum Williamson was one of the crowd favourites on the night.
Camera IconCallum Williamson was one of the crowd favourites on the night.

Krikke Motorsports driver Brooke Tatnell put it all on the line in the final five laps to try to catch McFadden, but fell short and had to settle for second.

Fittingly Myalup driver Jamie Maiolo finished third, the same spot he claimed 20 years earlier in the inaugural race.

The weekend though concentrated around the battle of McFadden and Veal, with the latter taking honours on night one.

But the top-eight shootout was when McFadden hit his straps, winning the final two-lap race to claim pole position and favouritism for the A-Main.

It took two restarts on the first lap before things finally settled, with Myalup’s Brad Maiolo crashing on the second turn, ending his night prematurely.

With 21 laps to go, Brodie Minchin also lost control on the second turn and rode the wall, with his car bursting into flames after flipping numerous times.

Bunbury’s Michael Keen did his best to impress his hometown fans.
Camera IconBunbury’s Michael Keen did his best to impress his hometown fans.
Brodie Minchin’s night ended in flames after a crash on turn two.
Camera IconBrodie Minchin’s night ended in flames after a crash on turn two.
Jamie Maiolo drove with precision to finish third in this year’s Shootout.
Camera IconJamie Maiolo drove with precision to finish third in this year’s Shootout.
Brad Maiolo checks out the damage to his car on night one of the Shootout.
Camera IconBrad Maiolo checks out the damage to his car on night one of the Shootout.
James McFadden leads the field around the track before the A-Main.
Camera IconJames McFadden leads the field around the track before the A-Main.

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