Column By: STEPHEN DURHAM / RPW – LOUDON, NH – Max McLaughlin is ready to take on the stars of the NASCAR Modified Tour this weekend, on the grand stage of them all, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
McLaughlin returns for the action packed weekend at the Magic Mile for the second time with the modified tour, his first time back in 2021 when his day ended early from a lap one incident.
McLaughlin made one start earlier this season with the Whelen Tour back at Richmond, where he started 22nd and came away with a podium finish in 3rd place. Mclaughlin led seven laps that day.
“We had big problems at the beginning of Richmond and knew we couldn’t fix it during the race, so we had to race with strategy’” McLaughlin explains, “those problems were figured out and I think the car should be ready to go this weekend from lap 1.”
McLaughlin will be racing the popular and famous Gary Putnam owned 77, where he has made 11 starts with the NASCAR Mod Tour, coming home four top 5s and five top 10s in those starts.
“Mad-Max” is coming off a win at the Track of Champions, Fonda Speedway last weekend. McLaughlin loves getting into different race cars and facing the different challenges, and likes coming back to the asphalt.
“It’s a lot of fun getting to just drive fast race cars. Gary always brings a strong car to the track, leaving us always with a chance,” Max explains, “and as a racecar driver, that’s all you can ever ask for.”
The Mooresville, North Carolina driver has a diverse background in the racing world, from racing northeast dirt modifieds, Menards ARCA series, a truck series race, and coming soon, a start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Watkins Glen.
“I just love to go and compete. I love and enjoy the different opportunities,” McLaughlin explains, “it makes me a better driver at the end of the day. I’m really thankful for each opportunity and hope I can make the best of each opportunity.”
It has been since March when McLaughlin was last racing asphalt, but he feels confident and is excited to get to the Magic Mile this weekend with Gary Putnam and his team and see what kind of speed they have. McLaughlin does hold expectations on the weekend.
“Really just want to be there at the end of the race,” says McLaughlin “If we roll out and have speed, and can be in the top 5 at the end of the race, I think we have a shot at a win.”
For McLaughlin, it would be pretty special to win at Loudon, a track where his dad Mike McLaughlin won back in September of 1990.
“It would be awesome and pretty special to win here, especially for Gary, he deserves it the most,” McLaughlin explains “Gary works so hard on these cars and if we pulled off a win,it would be special and something I will never forget.”
Max is very thankful for the help and his sponsors/supporters who continue to help him such as Gary Putnam, Mike Curb, Curb Records, Mohawk Northeast, Glastonbury Oil, and Dawley Collision.
Racing activity at New Hampshire Motor Speedway gets going Friday afternoon barring any chance for showers and thunderstorms that could develop over or near the area this afternoon.The Mohegan 100 will be Saturday afternoon, with green flag set to drop at 6PM.