SHORT RIDE FOR McLAUGHLIN IN FONTANA FONTANA, CA -- Have you ever heard the saying "Bad things come in three's?" Mike McLaughlin is hoping that's the case now that he has been involved in accidents the last three races. Disaster struck again...
SHORT RIDE FOR McLAUGHLIN IN FONTANA
FONTANA, CA -- Have you ever heard the saying "Bad things come in three's?" Mike McLaughlin is hoping that's the case now that he has been involved in accidents the last three races. Disaster struck again for the driver of the #34 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet Monte Carlo on Saturday at California Speedway. On lap 17 of 150, McLaughlin stepped on the brakes to miss a spinning Kevin Grubb, but was collected by another car from behind, ending the day for McLaughlin.
"I'm starting to feel like a crash test dummy," McLaughlin said. "We have been in the wrong place at the wrong time for three straight races. The only way I know to prevent that next week is to win the pole and lead all the laps and we intend to do just that in New Hampshire."
Prior to the accident, McLaughlin had started the Auto Club 300 in 4th place after qualifying was rained out on Friday. The starting positions were determined by the point standings and at the time, McLaughlin was in 4th place. A break in the rain showers occurred late Friday afternoon, allowing the 43 cars to have a one-hour practice session. McLaughlin and the team tried many different chassis combinations during the session, looking for one that would allow the car to handle well in the corners.
After a late night strategy session between McLaughlin and The Goulds Pumps Team everyone called it a night. With an early starting time on Saturday (11:00am), the team worked hard to make the final adjustments before race time. With the car all set, McLaughlin climbed in for the start of the race.
Early on McLaughlin was struggling with the car's handling. Crew Chief Steve "Big Guy" Helwig radioed to Mike to hold on, we will fix it on the first pit stop. Unfortunately, McLaughlin didn't make it to the first pit stop with the lap 17 wreck. McLaughlin was credited with 41st finishing position and dropped to 5th in the point standings.
Matt Kenseth capitalized on a late race mistake by Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the race. The NASCAR Busch Series now heads to one of McLaughlin's favorite tracks, the "Magic Mile", New Hampshire International Speedway for racing action on Saturday at 12:30pm EDT. The Nashville Network and MRN will provide live coverage of the event.