Story By: BOBBY CHALMERS / MAX MCLAUGHLIN RACING – MOORESVILLE, NC – This weekend will be a busy one for Max McLaughlin.
Well, even busier than normal.
Two weeks ago, McLaughlin was all set to run the Spring Sizzler for Gary Putnam Racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway. Unfortunately, Mother Nature intervened and forced speedway officials to push the event to May 12th & 13th.
That now puts a crimp into McLaughlin’s plans for this weekend. Friday is qualifying at Stafford. However, it’s also the season opener for Max’s regular ride, his DIRTcar Big Block Modified for Heinke-Baldwin Racing (HBR) at Brewerton Speedway.
“I love running the Asphalt Modified with Gary and the 77 Team,” McLaughlin said. “I can’t wait to strap into their car but my focus Friday is running for Al (Heinke) and my HBR team.”
Gary Putnam, owner of the #77 Asphalt Modified, will attempt to qualify the car at Stafford. If things go smoothly, and he’s able to lock the machine into the Sizzler through the qualifying Duel race Friday evening, McLaughlin will only be forced to start in the rear for the main event on Saturday.
If he can’t, though, the versatile driver from Mooresville, NC will have to start in the back of the last chance event one he gets to Stafford in order to qualify.
McLaughlin’s ready for the challenge at the Connecticut oval, though.
“We always have a speed with Gary’s equipment,” he said. “We were able to win the North South Shootout and have also been extremely close to winning on a couple other occasions. I can’t wait to see what we can do at Stafford.”
With as close as he’s been to visiting victory lane again, McLaughlin feels confident his next asphalt Modified win may be right around the corner.
“We’re due for a big win and I know in my heart that it’s coming soon,” he said. “Stafford will be a huge challenge for us without being able to qualify. The best case scenario is if Gary locks the car in and I can start last for the main.”
The driver known as Mad Max will be racing the FX Caprara Harley-Davidson, Cellular Sales HBR #8H Bicknell Friday at the Brewerton Speedway. There, he’ll hope to start his 2023 season at the D-Shaped Dirt Demon in victory lane before heading to Stafford to hopefully run “Greatest Race in the History of Spring.”