CONN, ON – Following a very impressive runner-up finish in his first career Super Late Model start, Open Wheel Modified ace Gary McLean appears more than ready to commit fully to an Ontario Outlaw Super Late Model Series effort in 2019.
The Super Late Model – a labour of love for McLean and longtime friend and Car Owner Greg Gibson – was originally not slated to debut until next season, however a last-minute decision by McLean and Gibson led to the pair entering Peterborough’s Autumn Colours Classic.
“This car had never turned a wheel under its own power before we unloaded (at Peterborough Speedway),” explains McLean. “We rolled it off of the surface plate and right into the trailer.”
“We had full intentions of just practicing the car – but the more we talked about it, the more we figured that we may as well get the car on track in race trim and see what the car has and what we need to work on over the winter,” adds the Conn, ON native. “I had total faith that Greg (Gibson) knew what he was doing, so it wasn’t too big of a leap to bring a car there cold turkey.”
Against seemingly long odds, McLean found his footing almost immediately, registering a second place finish against some of the top Super Late Model competition in the province.
“Getting up to speed in that car was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” says McLean with a smile. “I’ve been in awe of Super Late Models ever since I was a little Kid and being able to put one together with my best friend was nothing short of a dream come true.”
While the 2019 season is still months away, it’s clear that the McLean and Gibson combination are counting the days until their next chance at further improving their burgeoning Super Late Model outfit.
“Knowing that we were able to finish second in just our first race with this car was a huge bonus,” says the multi-time OSCAAR Modified Tour champion. “By the end of that race, we were right there with the players in this division, and it’s hard to explain just how excited that has me for next season.”
“Realistically, we know that we still have a ton of work to get where we need to be,” continues McLean. “We’ve been working on this car for years – but anyone that’s ever built a serious racecar from scratch will tell you that it takes a lot to complete.”
“We were at Peterborough to show the promoters that there are teams out here that are still investing in the (Super Late Model) division. We’re sticking with them. I hope they keep sticking with us.”