Story By: MANDEE PAUCH / HBR – WEEDSPORT, NY – HBR’s dynamic duo was back together again Monday evening at Weedsport Speedway for the Heroes Remembered 100.
Max McLaughlin has been busy running his first full season with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and was able to return to the cockpit of the No.6h for the first time this season alongside teammate, Jimmy Phelps.
After running a few practice sessions prior to Monday’s event, Phelps and the No.98h team still weren’t feeling very confident with their setup.
“We did some track testing a week or so ago,” Phelps said. “We didn’t feel too good, so we threw some stuff at it for hot laps Monday night.”
Phelps timed sixth in his group, which lined him up sixth in his heat race.
“We felt good in hot laps and stayed with it in time trials and the track changed just enough that we were off which put us deep in the heat.”
Phelps finished where he started in his heat, missing the transfer to the feature event.
“The track was pretty tricky in the heat, making it hard to pass,” noted Phelps.
Phelps went on to win the consolation, placing him into the 100-lap main event.
“We started deep in the field,” he said. “I was comfortable with the changes we made after the consi since the track was starting to open up. We were good enough that we could come off the bottom and pass guys and claw our way to the front. I wish we had a better qualifying effort though. It wore us out having to come through.”
Phelps was able to maneuver his way through the field to cap off the evening with a strong sixth-place finish.
“By the end, everyone’s tires were sealed up,” Phelps said. “It seemed like we were having success with our run. We just couldn’t charge any farther than where we ended up. However, we were able to salvage something that started out as a mess.”
McLaughlin and the No.6h were fast right off the trailer.
“We timed second in our group to Matt Sheppard, which was second-overall,” he said. “We made some changes for the heat and ran second to Sheppard. We felt we were just as good as he was. I did feel a little rusty after not driving a big block for a few months though.”
It didn’t take long for McLaughlin to blow off the rust and throw the No.6h on cushion at the drop of the green.
McLaughlin rolled off on the inside of the fourth row for the 100-lap event and gave the leader a good run early on in the race.
“We were really good on the top, but the top groove went away,” noted McLaughlin. “I was a little too tight to rotate the center, but we did the best we could with what we had.”
McLaughlin came home in fourth-place.
“Al let us build a brand-new car,” McLaughlin said. “It was the first time it hit the track which says a lot about HBR, Teo, and all of our guys to be able to build a new car and run that well. I’m really excited to get back behind the wheel at Albany for the Big Show in a few weeks.”