The six race mini-series will split events evenly between Sunset Speedway and Sauble Speedway, with increased payouts and a championship points fund offered to draw some of the top competition from across Ontario.
“It’s an exciting feeling to put my name out there and sort’ve make it official,” beams McLean upon confirming his family-run team will follow the first-year series in 2018. “It’s all we’ve been able to talk about for the last month. As soon as the schedule came out we were trying to find a way to put everything together so that we could do all six races.”
“It’s definitely a huge step for us,” continues the third-generation racer. “We focused on getting our feet wet last season just to try and get comfortable with the car and the competition. Now, we’re ready to see where we stack up.”
For a developing program like McLean’s, the abbreviated schedule will provide a chance to stay active and continue developing without having to overcommit to a regular Saturday-heavy regular season schedule.
“Six events is, honestly, the best case scenario for us,” confirms the Conn, ON native. “I know that I’m not going to improve if I’m not in the car on a regular basis, but I don’t think we’re ready to take on a full weekly schedule yet with this car.”
“We’re a small team compared to a lot of the guys that we’re racing against,” continues McLean. “We don’t want to overextend ourselves. We’re going to start with the six races on the tour and then see if we have the sponsorship support and the manpower at the shop to add more events to our schedule.”
With track champions and Crown Jewel winners from clear across Ontario showing interest in the six-race series, McLean knows that there stands an excellent chance that each event will be more difficult than the one that came before it.
“Man, we’re expecting the competition level to just be through the roof,” laughs the likeable teenager. “I mean, there’s no question that we’re going to have to put in some serious work to run with the guys that are showing up for this deal.”
“Everyone is buzzing about this series and the guys that have come out and said ‘I’m in’ already are some of the top cars in the division. It’s going to be a massive test for us – but it’s something that we’re ready for. Bring it on.”