WATKINS GLEN, NY --- After a rough and tumble first half of the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series season, Goulds Pumps driver Mike McLaughlin can't wait to get home to upstate NY. McLaughlin, a native of Waterloo, NY, hopes a little home cooking and an ...
WATKINS GLEN, NY --- After a rough and tumble first half of the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series season, Goulds Pumps driver Mike McLaughlin can't wait to get home to upstate NY. McLaughlin, a native of Waterloo, NY, hopes a little home cooking and an impressive resume at the famed road course will be the cure for his up and down racing season. McLaughlin has recorded five straight top-five finishes, including a popular victory in 1997.
"Words can't even describe the feeling I get inside when the Busch Series heads to Watkins Glen," McLaughlin said. "I get to see my parents and all my old friends the entire week. It's great to get to stay at home for a few days with my parents and go visit all the guys that helped me get started in my racing career. This season has been a tough one so far, but a little home cooking may come in handy this week."
It's hard to argue McLaughlin's road course abilities when scanning his Watkins Glen resume. McLaughlin has competed at Watkins Glen in every NASCAR Busch Series race held on the 2.45 mile, 11-turn road course. After four years of finishes between 12th and 19th place, McLaughlin started his current top-five streak in 1995.
"I try to approach Watkins Glen as a fun place to compete and take each turn on the course as a challenge," McLaughlin said. "You really have to develop a rhythm and hit your marks on each turn, when that happens it can be a fun afternoon of racing."
McLaughlin also has another incentive for performing well at Watkins Glen. His primary sponsor, Goulds Pumps is located just up the road in Seneca Falls, NY. McLaughlin knows Victory Lane could be a wild place if he is able to win his second race at the track.
"I remember when we won here in 1997, Victory Lane was wild," McLaughlin said. "Goulds Pumps was just an associate sponsor then, but it seemed like the whole company made it to Victory Lane to celebrate with us. With all my friends and family, I don't know if Victory Lane will hold us all. We might just have to move it down into turn one and have a great big party if we win!"
McLaughlin leaves his Charlotte home on Tuesday for a few days of relaxation in Waterloo and a couple of Goulds Pumps appearances before making the 45 mile ride down to Watkins Glen on Friday for practice. When McLaughlin enters the gates of Watkins Glen you can bet his determination for success will be at an all-time high. No one likes to lose on their home turf.
* McLaughlin will visit Goulds Pumps facilities in Seneca Falls, NY and Auburn, NY on Wednesday. That evening, the town of Waterloo will honor McLaughlin with a huge block party.
* On Thursday evening, McLaughlin will appear at the NASCAR Night in the Heights in Elmira Heights, NY.
* Friday night, McLaughlin will throw out the first pitch at the Auburn (NY) Doubledays baseball game.