McHugh Breaks Through to Win the 49th Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic

Lachlan McHugh and his team in victory lane opening night of the 49th Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic. (Image courtesy of Premier Speedway)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

WARRNAMBOOL, VIC (January 23, 2022) – Lachlan McHugh picked up one of the biggest wins of his young career Saturday at Premier Speedway capturing the 49th South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic.

McHugh, just 23 years of age from Gold Coast, Queensland, became the 27th driver in event history to win the Classic, trading the lead with James McFadden during a non-stop 40-lap main event that took a little over eight minutes to complete.

“That was a fast pace, so I was getting a bit tired towards the end there especially a couple bumps there down the bottom,” said McHugh about the non-stop race on a very quick racing surface. “Honestly, I thought the track was going to go a lot slicker than it did, so when James go by me at the start there, I wasn’t I wasn’t too concerned. I was sort of just waiting for the track to go away a bit but then it just never seemed to go away. So, I started getting back off to it and yeah, James got held up on that lap car and saw an opening and went for it and then yeah, I tried to swiftly get as fast as a lot as quickly as I could.

McHugh and the East Coast Pipeline Racing team collected a $30,000 top prize for their efforts on Saturday.

McHugh and McFadden started on the front row for the feature event with McHugh taking the lead at the drop of the green flag with McFadden and Corey McCullagh behind him. McHugh started overtaking slower traffic by lap four and allowed McFadden to close. Two laps later McFadden was able to drive around McHugh for the lead through turns one and two.

McFadden opened a small advantage while McHugh started to move up on the racetrack. By lap 13 McHugh had closed back on McFadden’s back bumper, but McFadden cleared slower traffic on lap 15 to maintain his advantage.

By lap 23 traffic became a factor again and allowed McHugh to challenge for the lead briefly when McFadden slid up the racetrack in turns one and two but could not make the pass. Two laps later McHugh got a great drive through turns one and to and drove around McFadden to take the lead.

After a brief time with a clear track, traffic became a factor again with five laps to go and allowed McFadden to close in. On the final lap McFadden was able to close onto McHugh’s front bumper but could not make the pass with McHugh took the checkered flag. McFadden, McCullagh, Saturday preliminary feature winner Grant Anderson, and Corey McCullagh rounded out the top five.

In defeat McFadden was complimentary to McHugh in defeat, feeling they had speed to compete for the win but could not get through slower traffic on the tacky racing surface.

“Congratulations to Lachy,” said McFadden. He was setting the pace all weekend. I think we were as good as him, but we just got ran a bit ragged there by that lapped car which I didn’t get through. I could stay with him. I just got really tight and couldn’t move around, but I think it was a pretty good race for the fans to watch. It was definitely not what I expected out of the racetrack it was a lot stickier then and we planned.”

American driver Carson Macedo picked up hard charger honors after having to come through the B-Main due to an incident in his heat race, charging from 23rd starting position to finish eighth.

McHugh was thankful of his team’s effort during the Classic weekend where they picked up a preliminary feature along with the wind during the finale.

“Big thanks to Barry Waldron for letting me drive this awesome car,” said McHugh of his team owner. “Nick Speed for always having it on point, um, been a lot of time this year, developing a package for me that I’m really happy with and he’s put in a lot of hours and I can’t thank him enough for what he does. And all the other boys Jack and Nathan. They put in a big effort these past few weeks. And my mom and dad everything they’ve done for me and everyone else that’s helped me get where I am.

For McHugh the victory was coming full circle after being a spectator on the hillside during the Classic just a few years ago.

“I remember five years ago I think I was here just sitting on in turn one into watching the classic I think Jamie (Veal) won that year and here he is a few years later and winning mine is pretty special.”

49th South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic
Premier Speedway
Warrnambool, Victoria
Sunday, January 23, 2022

Heat Race #1:
1. V34-Brenten Farrer
2. N43-Alex Orr
3. A1-Jamie Veal
4. T62-Tate Frost
5. VA73-Matt Swan
6. NQ7-Lachlan McHugh
7. V89-Jamie Heyen
8. S38-Lachlan McDonough
9. N57-Matthew Dumesny

Heat Race #2:
1. S13-Brock Hallett
2. V81-Robbie Paton
3. VA36-Ashley Cook
4. T7-Tim Hutchins
5. V98-Peter Doukas
6. NS4-Ian Madsen
7. VA81-Rhys Baxter
8. V8-Bobby Daly
9. N15-Luke Thomas

Heat Race #3:
1. V29-Michael Tancredi
2. V48-Adam King
3. V60-Jordyn Charge
4. V90-Corey McCullagh
5. V27-Ross Jarred
6. Q27-Cody Maroske
7. V7-Paul Solomon
8. N42-Zac Pacchiarrotta
9. V63-Kevin Reeves

Heat Race #4:
1. N40-Chris Mcinerney
2. V72-Jacob Smith
3. Q3-Karl Hoffman
4. S4-Lisa Walker
5. N72-Coby Elliot
6. V92-Matthew Reed
7. N36-Eddie Lumbar
8. NS53-Alex Attard
9. N99-Carson Macedo

Heat Race #5:
1. T22-Jock Goodyer
2. N48-Jackson Delamont
3. W17-James McFadden
4. V68-Brett Milburn
5. V2-Domain Ramsay
6. S3-Ben Morris
7. VA88-Grant Stansfield
8. VA75-David Donegan

Heat Race #6:
1. V57-Troy Hose
2. S14-Brendan Quinn
3. Q66-Ryan Newton
4. V37-Grant Anderson
5. S52-Mat Egel
6. NS21-Jorydan Brazier
7. Q33-Cullum Walker
8. VA72-Marlin Carrigan Walsh

Heat Race #7:
1. VA96-Dayn Bentvelzen
2. S27-Daniel Pestka
3. S63-Ryan Jones
4. V25-Jack Lee
5. VA22-Leigh Mugavin
6. VA29-Terry Rankin
7. V10-Steven Loader
8. V30-Michael Coad

Heat Race #8:
1. V28-Andrew Hughes
2. S37-Terry Kelly
3. V17-Dennis Jones
4. N7-Robbie Farr
5. V78-Chris Campbell
6. V6-Cameron Waters
7. N47-Marcus Dumesny
8. N10-Luke Stiron

C-Main #1:
1. S13-Brock Hallett
2. N72-Coby Elliot
3. N40-Chris Mcinerney
4. N36-Eddie Lumbar
5. N42-Zac Pacchiarrotta
6. N15-Luke Thomas
7. V89-Jamie Heyen
8. VA73-Matt Swan
9. NS53-Alex Attard
10. V63-Kevin Reeves

C-Main #2:
1. V17-Dennis Jones
2. V57-Troy Hose
3. V28-Andrew Hughes
4. VA75-David Donegan
5. V10-Steven Loader
6. S37-Terry Kelly
7. VA72-Marlin Carrigan Walsh
8. V30-Michael Coad

B-Main #1:
1. V8-Bobby Daly
2. V72-Jacob Smith
3. T7-Tim Hutchins
4. N99-Carson Macedo
5. N43-Alex Orr
6. V98-Peter Doukas
7. Q3-Karl Hoffman
8. VA81-Rhys Baxter
9. V34-Brenten Farrer
10. V29-Michael Tancredi
11. V7-Paul Solomon
12. N40-Chris Mcinerney
13. V81-Robbie Paton
14. N72-Coby Elliot
15. VA36-Ashley Cook
16. V48-Adam King
17. V27-Ross Jarred
18. N36-Eddie Lumbar
19. S13-Brock Hallett
20. V92-Matthew Reed

B-Main #2:
1. S27-Daniel Pestka
2. S52-Mat Egel
3. S14-Brendan Quinn
4. N48-Jackson Delamont
5. NS21-Jorydan Brazier
6. V25-Jack Lee
7. T22-Jock Goodyer
8. V2-Domain Ramsay
9. V17-Dennis Jones
10. Q66-Ryan Newton
11. VA22-Leigh Mugavin
12. S3-Ben Morris
13. V78-Chris Campbell
14. Q33-Cullum Walker
15. VA96-Dayn Bentvelzen
16. V6-Cameron Waters
17. VA75-David Donegan
18. V57-Troy Hose
19. V28-Andrew Hughes

1. NQ7-Lachlan McHugh
2. W17-James McFadden
3. V90-Corey McCullagh
4. V37-Grant Anderson
5. A1-Jamie Veal
6. NS4-Ian Madsen
7. T62-Tate Frost
8. N99-Carson Macedo
9. S63-Ryan Jones
10. N7-Robbie Farr
11. N47-Marcus Dumesny
12. V60-Jordyn Charge
13. V8-Bobby Daly
14. Q27-Cody Maroske
15. VA88-Grant Stansfield
16. V72-Jacob Smith
17. T7-Tim Hutchins
18. S27-Daniel Pestka
19. S52-Mat Egel
20. V68-Brett Milburn
21. VA29-Terry Rankin
22. N48-Jackson Delamont
23. S14-Brendan Quinn
24. S4-Lisa Walker