The HBR team has been nothing but consistent this season. It wasn’t until Saturday night at Fulton Speedway that Jimmy Phelps broke the ice and picked up the teams first victory of the season.
The action began Friday evening at Brewerton Speedway for the HBR team. Phelps started third in his heat race. Phelps battled a heavy and fast track to cross the line in fourth.
Phelps rolled out on the outside of the fourth row for the 35-lap main event.
“We were way too tight,” Phelps explained. “The track seemed to get faster even after the heat race. We were fortunate to have really good track position, which kept us at the front and kept us out of trouble. We didn’t really have enough to challenge for the win.”
Phelps climbed forward and finished the night with a strong fourth-place finish.
Max McLaughlin felt confident with his car following his second-place finish in his heat Friday night.
“Everyone was running the bottom and I was able to work my way around the top and get up to second,” he said. “I had a pretty good car. I was able to roll right around the top.”
McLaughlin started on the inside of the sixth row for the main event. McLaughlin was up to sixth when his car made contact with another and he had to restart at the rear. After restarting at the rear, McLaughlin powered through the field to cap off an eighth-place finish.
The team returned to Fulton Speedway Saturday evening.
“We made some changes in the shop the car seemed to really like,” Phelps said. “I think that was the best I felt all year. We were really good,” Phelps noted about his heat race win from fourth.
Phelps started tenth for the main event and was able to grab the lead by lap seven.
“Once I got the lead I just cruised from there,” he said. “It’s been a tough month. Everyone’s been really digging. I haven’t been giving our team a whole lot to show for it so this proves we can still be competitive. Hopefully we’ve found that balance we’ve been looking for over the last month or so.”
McLaughlin started sixth in his heat and qualified third.
“We had new tires on so they didn’t really come in until lap seven or so. That’s when we were able to move up to third.”
McLaughlin lined up on the outside of row seven for the main event.
“It was the most comfortable I’ve been to run the top,” he said. “We changed quite a bit of stuff on the car for this weekend. I think we made some pretty big gains. Everyone was running the bottom and the middle and I just went right up against the fence where there little bit of grip was and was comfortable enough to carry enough speed to roll right around them.”
McLaughlin grabbed his fourth top-five finish of the year at Fulton Saturday night after he crossed the line in fourth for the feature.
The team has a very busy schedule ahead as they will be making the drive west for three days of racing in Ohio at Eldora and Sharon Speedway. They will then come back to the Empire State for their weekly shows at Brewerton and Fulton. They will have Sunday off to regroup and will be back on the road for two days of racing in Quebec.
“I’m looking forward to another crack at Eldora,” Phelps said. “We were really good off the truck last year. The track kind of fooled us for the feature so it’ll be nice to get another shot at that. I’m definitely excited for Sharon since we won there last year. Hopefully we’ll get things rolling and get some momentum built up.”
McLaughlin noted Eldora being one of his favorite tracks. “I’m really looking forward to getting back to Tony’s track. We were decent there last year and we’re hoping to knock off our first Super DIRTcar Series win at the Big E.”
HBR QUICK RESULTS
July 14 – Brewerton Speedway; Heat: 4 (3); Feature: 4 (8)
July 15 – Fulton Speedway; Heat: 1 (4); Feature: 1 (10)
July 14 – Brewerton Speedway; Heat: 2 (4); Feature: 8 (11)
July 15 – Fulton Speedway; Heat: 3 (6); Feature: 4 (14)
HBR SEASON STATS –
27 races – 1 win, 15 top fives, 20 top 10’s
27 races – 11 top fives, 17 top 10’s
UP NEXT –
Tuesday, July 18 – Eldora Speedway
Wednesday, July 19 – Eldora Speedway
Thursday, July 20 – Sharon Speedway
Friday, July 21 – Brewerton Speedway
Saturday, July 22 – Fulton Speedway
Story By: Mandee Pauch
Photo Credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos