CONN, ON – After years of whispers and rumors that multi-time OSCAAR Modified Series champion Gary McLean was plotting a foray into Super Late Model competition, 2019 will see the plan come into fruition.
The Open Wheel Modified legend debuted at Peterborough Speedway’s Autumn Colours Classic last October, notching a head-turning runner-up finish that left fans wondering just how quickly McLean will catch on in full-fendered competition.
“The car was a bit sluggish out of the gate, But became a lot better than we had imagined it would in the second half of the race” stated the affable McLean. “Our team was proud as all get out when we finished second in a field as strong as what we had last October, but we know we have a bit more work to do to get us competitive with the top half of the field on a regular basis.”
“We’re a long way from where we want this car to be – but jumping out as strong as did was a pretty good way to start,” continues the longtime front runner. “[Crew Chief] Greg Gibson has set the bar pretty high in terms of where he wants this car. So, the work is just getting started, but it’s an exciting time.”
For McLean – a 5-time OSCAAR Modified Tour champion – the expected learning curve associated with a Super Late Model venture is all part of what drives the Conn, ON native.
“Our team lives for this type of challenge,” notes McLean. “It’s been a long time since we were not ‘the car’ on a Saturday night. We’ve been the one being chased for a a lot of years. Now, we get to be the ones doing the chasing and that’s real exciting for us.”
“We’re dreaming up and working on just about anything we can think of to get this car to the front. It’ll never be possible to dominate a class like (the Super Late Models) but just to have a piece capable of contending with guys like Glenn Watson and John Cadman week-in and week-out is our goal.”
Although McLean is unable to commit to the full Ontario Outlaw Super Late Model Series tour due to Greg Gibson’s commitments to Scott Steckly’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series operation, the team does hope to compete with their Super Late Model in as many events as possible throughout the season.
“We’ll be running the Super [Late Model] as much as we possibly can,” McLean offered. “Greg’s schedule has a few conflicting dates with the [Ontario Outlaw Super Late Model Series] so we can’t run the full tour – but when we are able to come out we’ll be ready to do absolutely everything we can to cut this learning curve as much as possible.”