THE END OF AN ERA: McLAUGHLIN SET FOR FINAL RIDE WITH CICCI-WELLIVER RACING
HOMESTEAD, FL - Around 1:20pm on Saturday afternoon, Goulds Pumps driver Mike McLaughlin will climb into the #34 Cicci-Welliver racing owned Chevrolet for the 171st and final time. The longest running driver-owner combination in the NASCAR Busch Series will come to an end on Saturday. After six years of competing together, McLaughlin and Cicci-Welliver Racing team owners, Frank Cicci and Scott Welliver will close the book on a successful six years together. McLaughlin has announced plans to move to the Innovative Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series team next year. Cicci-Welliver Racing is expected to name a replacement in the near future.
"It was tough leaving this race team, we are all such great friends, I hope it remains that way," McLaughlin said. "I made a business decision to try something different, but I still wish nothing but the best for the Cicci-Welliver Racing teams."
McLaughlin has recorded five straight top-ten Busch Series Point finishes driving for the Cicci-Welliver organization, the longest current streak of top-ten points finishes.
"We have had quite a run together, its been a great six years together," McLaughlin said. "I have that race team to thank for some very special memories. It's going to be really different next year when I race against the #34 car."
McLaughlin hopes to bring the relationship to an exciting end this weekend by scoring his 6th career Busch Series win for Cicci-Welliver Racing.
"I can't think of a better way to finish my final race in the 34 car than pulling into Victory Lane and celebrating with my friends on the race team," McLaughlin said. "Now that would be a dream come true for me."
THE MIKE McLAUGHLIN ---- CICCI-WELLIVER RACING ERA
Began in 1994 when Mike McLaughlin was asked to move south and pilot the #34 Chevrolet previously driven by Todd Bodine.
The Hot Wheels.com 300 will mark their 171st race together. McLaughlin will also be making his 151st consecutive Busch Series start, the longest active streak in the Busch Series.
McLaughlin has won $2,812,120 while driving for Cicci-Welliver Racing, the largest amount in Busch Series history for a driver-owner combination. McLaughlin is the 2nd leading all-time money winner in Busch Series history.
McLaughlin has won 5 races while driving the #34 car: Dover (1995), New Hampshire and Watkins Glen (1997), Nashville and Charlotte (1998)
McLaughlin made 2 Winston Cup starts (NHIS and WGI) for Cicci-Welliver Racing in 1995.
McLaughlin has recorded the following Busch Series point finishes for Cicci-Welliver Racing:
1994 13th 1995 3rd 1996 10th 1997 4th 1998 3rd 1999 Currently in 9th position, can move as high as 7th or as low as 10th.
MIKE McLAUGHLIN - CICCI-WELLIVER RACING CAREER STATISTICS
YEAR RACES WINS TOP-5 TOP-10 $ WON 1994 26 0 3 8 $181,748 1995 26 1 9 14 $317,075 1996 26 0 7 10 $290,701 1997 30 2 7 14 $585,173 1998 31 2 11 16 $828,313 1999 31 0 3 8 $609,110 TOTALS 170 5 40 70 $2,812,120