Story By: JOSH WEINRICH / HATTORI RACING ENTERPRISES – MOORESVILLE, NC – For the first time in series history, Max McLaughlin and the ARCA Menards Series competitors enter uncharted territory and will tackle Daytona International Speedway’s (DIS) 3.56-mile road course layout.
McLaughlin makes his return to asphalt competition for the first time since recording a track best seventh-place finish at Iowa Speedway last month. Since that time, McLaughlin returned to big block modified racing and scored a pair of podium finishes at Orange County Fair Speedway in July.
Budding Road Course Ace … “Mad Max” is 1-for-1 on road courses and will put his perfect record on the line in Friday’s General Tire 100. The second-generation racer scored his first-career asphalt victory in the ARCA Menards Series East last season on the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International (WGI) circuit after setting a new track record and led all 34 laps in dominating fashion. McLaughlin, who’s Father Mike also scored a NASCAR Xfinity Series road course victory, looks to elevate his road racing craft as a budding road course ace at the “World Center of Racing”.
Payton’s Promise … McLaughlin will carry an extra incentive on board at DIS on Friday in honor of his childhood friend Payton Cannon. The No. 1 Mohawk Northeast Toyota Camry will feature www.PaytonsPromise.org on board which was recently founded by the Cannon family after their daughter Payton lost her life in a car accident last month. Payton’s Promise, recently known as the Radio Family Charity, focuses on community and disaster relief efforts.
Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 008 will return to action after sitting on the sidelines since last August. This Toyota Camry has been victorious in its last two outings as McLaughlin dominated and drove to victory lane at WGI last season. In 2018, Brett Moffitt put on a thrilling march through the field and drove to victory at WGI courtesy of a last-lap pass. Ryan Truex also sat on the pole at WGI in 2017 and led 26 laps before a flat tire ended his afternoon. McLaughlin will look to make it three wins in a row for chassis No. 008, and its first at DIS.
Tune In … MAVTV will have live coverage of McLaughlin’s DIS debut at 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday evening and can also be streamed on NBC Sports Gold TRACKPass. Stay connected with McLaughlin and the No. 1 team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.
Max McLaughlin Quote:
On making his second road course start without practice at Daytona:
“I love road course racing. It’s a challenge that we don’t get to do very often, so it’ll be a nice change of pace. No one has any experience on the track, except doing sim work in the Toyota simulator, so the practice will be extremely important on Friday afternoon. Watkins Glen was an awesome moment for me and our Mohawk Northeast team last year, and it’d mean a lot to get ourselves another road course win at Daytona. It’s extra special to have Payton’s Promise on the car too. Payton was a friend of mine since we were kids and her loss was heart breaking. The charity does a lot of good for so many communities, and it’s nice to have her on board with us this weekend and hopefully we can have a strong outing in her memory.”