McLaughlin looking for repeat at Nashville By Shawn A. Akers NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 30, 1999) Mike McLaughlin wasn't too happy about losing his primary car in an accident in practice prior to last year's BellSouth Mobility 320...
McLaughlin looking for repeat at Nashville By Shawn A. Akers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 30, 1999) Mike McLaughlin wasn't too happy about losing his primary car in an accident in practice prior to last year's BellSouth Mobility 320 at Nashville Speedway USA. Mike McLaughlin knows persistence can go a long, long way in short-track racing. But instead of letting that setback get him down and thinking about just earning a decent finish, McLaughlin kept focused on putting his No. 34 Gould's Pump Chevrolet in Victory Lane in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division event.
His attitude, and his persistence, paid off, and McLaughlin came away from Nashville with his first victory of the season. It was also his first top-5 effort ever in four races at Nashville.
"That deal (the accident) happened pretty quickly," said McLaughlin, who will be looking for a repeat performance Saturday in the BellSouth Mobility 320. "All of us were upset about losing that car in practice because it was a very good car, a brand new one as a matter of fact.
"But, we unloaded the backup, with the same setup, and it was almost as fast as the primary car. At that point you don't think of just trying to salvage a good finish out of it, you're still thinking about winning. At least we were. And, we ended up winning, so it was a good feeling. It just showed what kind of team this Gould's Pump team really is."
McLaughlin comes into Saturday's race at Nashville in 4th place in the series standings, just 27 points behind leader Jeff Burton. He is coming off a season-best 4th-place finish in last Saturday's Coca-Cola 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
"Overall, the season has been pretty decent for us," McLaughlin said. "We've been able to keep up in the points, but we'd like to be able to win a few races, too. That's everybody's goal. But I think that will come our way shortly."
The race at Nashville on Saturday will be the first short-track race for the NASCAR Busch Series this season.
Casey Atwood shocked many by winning the Bud Pole for last year's BellSouth Mobility 320, and he wound up finishing 2nd behind McLaughlin at his "home" track. Atwood is a native of the Nashville area and ran Late Models previously there.
McLaughlin certainly views Atwood, who now has a solid team with major sponsorship behind him, as one of the drivers to beat Saturday.
"He's been tough everywhere this year," McLaughlin said. "He's one of the young, talented kids coming up through the series. He knows that track very well and he showed that last year. I expect him to be every bit as tough there this year, too."
Source: NASCAR Online