Column By: DYLAN FRIEBEL / RPW – MOORESVILLE, NC – Budding young Super DIRTcar Series star Max McLaughlin will be making his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on Wednesday, July 18th, and as you can guess, it’s on dirt, when the series hits the famed Eldora Speedway.
I had the chance to catch up with the young driver from Mooresville, NC after another top five finish Sunday night in the Super DIRTcar Series race at Utica-Rome Speedway to discuss that and his season so far.
“We’ve been running really good this year,” Max said “We got our first of the year at Land Of Legends Saturday night. A lot of good guys run there. We’ve been good on the tour too. We haven’t finished out of the top 10 this season which is big. I believe by the end of year, we’ll have some more wins.”
When thinking of recent Northeast Dirt Modified turned Truck Series drivers, you think of Stewart Friesen, However Max is looking to make his own name on the National Stage.
“There are a lot of good trucks, but we’re looking to run up front,” McLaughlin commented. “There isn’t much that translates from the Big Blocks to these Trucks. However I know my background will help me. They just drive so different. I will most definitely have a learning curve, but that’s what practice is for, right?”
When asking about the venue in which the race will take place, His face lights up.
“Eldora is my favorite race track,” he said. “There’s no other place like it. You become an instant legend if you win there.”
Max knows also how hard his dad worked for his chances and how hard he’s had to work to get this opportunity.
“My dad and I have dedicated our whole lives to this sport,” he said. “To get the chance to race on the one of the biggest stages is awesome. I’ve had dreams of this as a kid. I know lots of kids dream of racing in NASCAR, but I feel extremely blessed to have gotten this opportunity.”
However, no trip to Eldora comes easy. The day after the Dirt Derby, Max will have be back in New York to compete in his Big Block Modified in the Super DIRTcar Series return to the Orange County Fair Speedway.
“Getting to Orange County the next day will be tough.” Max said. “Just getting there on time will be the biggest challenge, but the more racing I can do is better in my book.”
McLaughlin won’t be the only Northeast Dirt Modified driver trying to make the Eldora event. Full-time Truck Series competitor Stewart Friesen will be looking to one up his second place finish from last year and lock himself into the playoffs. You can also add to the mix Lebanon Valley competitor JR Heffner, who will be piloting the #15 Chevy Silverado under the Premium Motorsports banner with his familiar Modified colors.
Max McLaughlin sure knows what’s ahead of him when he rolls into Rossburg, OH next week. He knows it will be an uphill battle, but he’s ready for the challenge, and can’t wait for this next chapter in his racing career.