Max McLaughlin has been one of the hottest drivers at Salisbury, North Carolina’s Millbridge Speedway this year. He’s won plenty of races, and when he doesn’t win he’s always contending. Recently, the second-generation race also clinched the 2015 Open Outlaw Kart champion at the track. .
Now the 15-year-old is hoping he can win one more time, this time on live TV at Speed51.com’s Battle at the Bridge on Wednesday, November 4.
“That would be pretty cool to win that,” said the son of former dirt and asphalt Modified driver “Magic Shoes” Mike McLaughlin. “To win that race on live TV would be an awesome opportunity and would get my name out there. Millbridge has come such a far way this year with the attention that place is getting for just a local track.”
The 20-lap race for the open division of Outlaw Karts will air live for free on 51 TV on Speed51.com, and McLaughlin said that racing on live TV does add a little bit more pressure to a race that is usually already quite intense.
“I think it (adds pressure) for everybody,” McLaughlin said. “You just have to kind of forget about that and just run your race. We’re going to go out there with the same mindset we’ve had all year and that’s just to get the best run.”
McLaughlin said he expects to be fighting for the win on Wednesday night, but he also expects two other drivers to be right there with him.
“I don’t know if Kyle Larson is running but he’s always fast,” said McLaughlin. “Week in and week out my biggest competition is Tom Hubert. He’s always a threat. Dylan Smith will be fast too.”
McLaughlin recently just lost a race at Millbridge to Smith. McLaughlin tried a slidejob in the final corner on Smith, but Smith crossed back under McLaughlin and barely beat McLaughlin to the checkered flag in a type of race that has become commonplace at Millbridge and can almost be expected for Speed51.com’s Battle at the Bridge.
Lately McLaughlin has been moving into other types of dirt vehicles. He’s been racing UMP style Modifieds much of the year and recently just became “King of the Carolinas” by winning the 20-lap Modified feature at North Carolina’s Carolina Speedway. He’s also been trying to run a big block Dirt Modified, but lately weather hasn’t been cooperating with him.
He said that all three types of cars are quite difficult to get used to after running one of the other machines.
“It’s three different worlds right there,” he said. “With the Outlaw Kart you have to drive them straight. You can’t really throw them into the corner at all. With the UMP car you’re basically sideways the whole time. In the Big Block you throw it into the corner but you have to be straight off.
“It takes me a couple laps in each car to get used to it. But it’s a huge transition and it’s kind of difficult for me. Now I’m starting to get more comfortable.”
You can watch McLaughlin go for the win in the Speed51.com Battle at the Bridge and celebrate his championship live on Speed51.com for free on Wednesday, November 4.
-51 Sports Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo