Max McLaughlin put a period on his rookie season of pavement racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) with a sixth-place finish at Dover International Speedway on Friday evening. The driver of the No. 1 Mohawk Northeast Toyota Camry finished his rookie campaign of the 12-race tour fifth in the championship standings.
McLaughlin’s debut at the “Monster Mile” got off to a tumultuous start as he was forced to change engines during the lone practice session and was unable to turn a lap in qualifying. “Mad Max” started shotgun on the field for the 125-lap finale, and advanced to eighth before experiencing a plug wire issue just before the lap-30 competition caution.
While the issue was briefly corrected, “Mad Max” dealt with the lingering issue during the race’s middle stint and came to the attention of the Mohawk Northeast team during the second competition caution on lap 80.
The 19-year old rookie returned to competition for the lap 83 restart in eighth position with the mechanical issue resolved and focused on moving towards the front. Over the final 43-lap run to the finish, McLaughlin gained two positions to take the checkered flag in sixth. In total, McLaughlin earned one victory, four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in HRE’s return to the NKNPSE and his rookie campaign.
Max McLaughlin Quote:“To get back to sixth after having a problem with the plug wire early in the race and having to change engines, it shows how everyone at HRE never gives up. I have to thank every person that put in so much effort on this race team all season. We had a great group of guys this year, put together some nice runs, got to victory lane, and it feels good to finish top-five in points too. Big thanks to Mohawk Northeast, Toyota, TRD, and everyone that’s been a part of this season. I had fun. I learned a lot and hopefully we’ll have more opportunities in the future.”