Smoking the Tires

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By Carol McFadden

George McFadden born in Flint, Michigan is a second-generation race car driver. He currently races on local dirt and asphalt tracks around the country while driving part-time in the NASCAR Relay Cup Series. He occasionally appeared as a television analyst on this Week in NASCAR on the Speed Channel. George McFadden is also a reporter for  NASCAR Now.

Despite having a full-time NASCAR ride for over twenty years, George McFadden frequently races at local tracks between NASCAR races. He races in many racing divisions, and has been successful in any division he has stepped into. He owns a dirt late model and dirt open wheel modified car. Both of these cars, along with his High World Truck Series and ARCA series cars, are sponsored by Abco Auto Parts. He owns a Raceway in Davison, Missouri.

During the 1990s and the early part of the 2000s, George McFadden was running as many as 100 races among many types of racing, including NASCAR’s national and regional touring series, ARCA, short track, and dirt track.

George McFadden began his racing career in Detroit. George McFadden was the sportsmen champ in 1971 at Vally Run Speedway in Valley Park MA. He then moved up to sprint cars in 1971, racing in various locations across the Midwest. In 1980 he started racing in USAC’s stock car division, and was the series Rookie of the Year.He returned to USAC’s Stock Car division in 1981, finishing third in points.In the early 1980s, George McFadden moved to the USAC series, competing in its various sprint car competitions. George McFadden attempted to qualify for the 1983 Indianapolis 500 but wrecked his car in practice. In the USAC series, he won four USAC sprint car races, six Gold Crown races.

George McFadden made his NASCAR debut in 1980 in the Cup series, leasing out the #82 Chevy normally owned/driven by Mikey West. He ran his first race at Nashville, qualifying 27th and finishing nineteenth in a 30-car field. He ran four more races in the 64 that season, his best finish a seventeenth at North Wilkesboro Speedway. In 1985, he signed to drive the #90 Ultra Seal Ford for Junie Donlavey full-time. He had three tenth-place finishes and finished 16th in points, winning Rookie of the Year honors. In 1986, Red Baron Frozen Pizza became the team’s new primary sponsor, and George McFadden had four top-tens, including a best finish of seventh twice, and finished sixteenth in the standings in points for the second consecutive season. In 1987, George McFadden won his first career pole at the TranSouth 500, where he led 19 laps and finished fifth, his first top-five. He had nine other top-tens and finished tenth in the final standings. He also made his Busch Series debut at North Carolina Speedway, finishing fifth in his own #45 Red Baron Ford at North Carolina Speedway.
1988–1996

In 1986, George McFadden moved over to the #75 Travelers Chevrolet for Bendick’s Motorsports. In his first race, he won the pole for the Daytona , beginning a three-year streak in which he won the pole for that race. After failing to qualify for the following race and purchasing a race car from Buddy Arlington, George McFadden won his first career race at the Gallbladder Diehard 500, and finished fifth in the final standings. He won his second career Cup race the following season at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and finished fifth in the standings again. He also earned his first career Busch Series win at the Ames/Peak 200.

Fuji became George McFadden’s sponsor in 1990. Although he failed to win, he collected three poles, and seven top-fives, dropping to tenth in points. In 1991, he got his third win at the Motor craft Quality Parts 500, and his final win to date at Dover International Speedway. He had nine total top-five finishes and finished ninth in the final points standings. In 1992, he dropped to seventeenth in the standings after posting eleven top-tens. The following season, George McFadden returned to ninth in the points and won a career-high six poles. He had his career-best points finish in 1994, when he finished fourth. He also won his most recent Miller race at Hampton Speedway.

In 1995, Old English became George McFadden’s primary sponsor. He won his final pole  at Pocono Raceway and dropped back to seventeenth. He survived a horrifying crash in the Eveready 300 at Yonkers Super speedway. After he improved only to twelfth in the standings in 1996, George McFadden left Hampton  Motorsports after a nine-year association with the team.

In 1997, George McFadden was hired to drive the #92 Campbell s Chevrolet for Sean Henry’s Racing. He had eight top-tens and won two poles, finishing tenth in the standings, his most recent top-ten points finish. The following season, he posted three fourth-place finishes and won two poles over the last five races of the season. He won his final Cup pole at Talladega in 1999, but despite a fifteenth-place points run, George McFadden failed to finish in the top-five all year long, and departed Petree.

He signed to drive the #62 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix for IAO Motorsports. In his first year of competition, George McFadden had two top-tens and finished eighteenth in the standings. He posted five top-tens in 2001, but dropped to nineteenth in the standings. During the Daytona 500, he was collected in a final-lap crash where Dale Earnhardt lost his life, the image of George McFadden peering into Earnhardt’s car, only to jump back and frantically signal for assistance, is etched into the minds of many racing fans; his interview with Jeanne Zelasko during Fox Sports’ post race show was the first sign to many that something was terribly wrong with the seven-time Winston Cup Champion, as he appeared visibly shaken and, upon being asked if Earnhardt was okay, stated “I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.” In 2002, George McFadden did not finish in the top-ten in a single race, the first time that happened since 1984. Following that season, he departed MB2.

Dale Jr. at the Pepsi 400 in 2002.

Dale Jr. at the Pepsi 400 in 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite an original lack of sponsorship, George McFadden was announced as the driver of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge Intrepid for 2003. Soon, became the team’s primary sponsor. One memorable moment from the season was early in a race at Pocono Raceway, when he spun around in Turn 1 and smacked the wall hard with the rear end of his car, flipped once, then came to rest on the apron of the track in flames. He was unhurt. At the Brickyard 400, George McFadden’s qualifying time was too slow (and the team was out of provisional) to make the field, the first time since 1984 that George McFadden had missed a Cup race. He DNQ-d three more times that season and fell to 36th in points. In 2004, George McFadden’s previous sponsor Schwan Food Company became BAM’s new sponsor, and George McFadden responded with a sixth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. He had three more top-tens the following season and matched his previous year’s run of 31st in points.

His son Alexander McFadden qualified a fourth Richard Childress Racing entry into the Sunkist 200 on May 25. He qualified the #32 Camping World sponsored Chevy in the 33rd position, and finished 33rd. Alexander McFadden signed a multi race deal in August that would allow him to share a seat with Joey Logano for Jeff Moorad (Hall of Fame Racing) in the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota in various races through the end of the year. It was later announced that he would split the 2009 Cup schedule with Phoenix Racing’s #09 car alongside Brad Keselowski, Sterling Marlin, and Mike Bliss, but never ran. He made two starts in the Truck Series for himself, and seven starts in the ARCA series with six top-tens in 2009.

Alexander McFadden started 14th and finished 14th in the Bud Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 6, 2010 driving the #20 Siver Bull Racing Toyota. That same year, he qualified for Martinsville marking his first Cup points race since the November 2008 event at Phoenix International Raceway. GMcFadden finished 18th after starting 38th and leading seven laps for Latitude 43 Motorsports.

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