BUSCH: Mike McLaughlin -- Daytona Preview

McLAUGHLIN READY TO START A "NEW" SEASON AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH - When Goulds Pumps driver Mike "Magic Shoes" McLaughlin sits down to think about the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series season, one word comes to mind, new. There are a lot of new...

McLAUGHLIN READY TO START A "NEW" SEASON AT DAYTONA

DAYTONA BEACH - When Goulds Pumps driver Mike "Magic Shoes" McLaughlin sits down to think about the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series season, one word comes to mind, new. There are a lot of new things in McLaughlin's life these days. A new team, a new number, a new crew chief, a new teammate and a new role in the race shop.

For the first time in six Busch Series seasons, McLaughlin will start a race with a number other than 34 on the side of his Chevrolet Monte Carlo. After six seasons with Cicci-Welliver Racing McLaughlin has joined the Innovative Motorsports Team, owned by George deBidart. McLaughlin did keep his old sponsor, Goulds Pumps in the move to Innovative Motorsports but he takes on a new number, 48.

"It has taken some getting used to when I look at our cars and see the 48 on the side of them," McLaughlin said. "We were at an event a few weeks ago and I saw the #34 car and it was weird to see someone else's name on the door. But this new team is exciting and I can't wait to get started in Daytona."

Along with the new team, McLaughlin has a new crew chief, Darrell Terry. After three successful years with Reiser Enterprises and driver Matt Kenseth, Terry joined the Goulds Pumps Racing Team in November and has led the charge to construct 7 new Chevrolet Monte Carlo's for McLaughlin.

"I feel really fortunate to have Darrell on board with our race team," McLaughlin said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills to the table. We have communicated really well in testing, I believe that will carry right over to the races."

McLaughlin is also excited about his new racing teammate at Innovative Motorsports, Hermie Sadler. Sadler, a veteran of the NASCAR Busch Series, will pilot the #30 Little Trees Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

"Hermie is really eager to get the season started, I believe we will work well as teammates this year," McLaughlin said. This will mark my fourth straight year with a multi-car team and I know there are benefits to be gained from sharing information."

Another new side of McLaughlin that people are beginning to notice this off-season, is his role in preparing the racecars. McLaughlin has refocused his efforts on racing and constructing the racecars. It has been said by many that McLaughlin is one of the top fabricators in the garage. Over the last year or so, McLaughlin had begun to step away from some of his fabricating work. With the change in race teams, McLaughlin has jumped back into the shop and has spent nearly everyday since November along side his crew working on the racecars.

"I began to realize how much I missed working on the cars," McLaughlin said. "I really believe working on the cars makes me happy, even if I have to stay in the shop till midnight. I am determined to make this year a big success and if that means helping out in the shop, then I am going to be there with my guys."

There is one more thing that's about to be new in McLaughlin's life. His wife Katie is expecting their first child together anytime in the next month.

What are the chances of this child being born at Daytona International Speedway?

"Pretty good, knowing the role racing has had in my life," McLaughlin said.

PIT NOTES

Ø Mike McLaughlin should break the $3,000,000 mark in career NASCAR Busch Series earnings in Daytona. McLaughlin is currently third on the career money list with $2,983,882

Ø McLaughlin has qualified inside the top-ten for 10 consecutive NASCAR Busch Series restrictor plate races. The horsepower for all of those races came from the 1999 Busch Series Engine Builder of the Year, Ron Hutter. McLaughlin has been using Hutter engines for nearly twenty years.

Ø The Goulds Pumps Racing Team spent two days last week testing their 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Mike McLaughlin , Hermie Sadler