HARRISTON, ON – After capturing Rookie of the Year honours in Sauble Speedway’s Thunder Car division this season, rising star Travis McLean is hoping to follow-up in 2018 with a career effort that could establish him as a true prospect in Ontario’s burgeoning short track scene.
“I feel like we really set the stage for something big with everything that we accomplished this season,” says McLean. “Winning the rookie points meant a lot to me. That was our number one goal this season. We never stopped working and that paid off all season long.”
After three seasons spent behind the wheel of a Honda Prelude racing against the top Mini Stock talent across Ontario, the move to the radically different Thunder Car division presented a myriad of challenges.
However, true to his reputation as a student of the game, McLean persevered and worked tirelessly to find a foothold in the wildly competitive landscape.
“Moving from the Mini Stock to the Thunder Car was almost like learning to race all over again,” admits the third-generation racer. “Everything about how you approach the track is different because of the rear wheel drive, the power and the weight. It took a lot of getting used to. But, after a lot of laps and a lot of patience, I really found my comfort level towards the end of the season.”
The 17-year old is, at present, working to find marketing support that will help his family-owned program return to Sauble Speedway in 2018 as they hope to continue their ascension to the top of the Thunder Car class.
“We’re ready to keep improving – no matter what it takes,” insists McLean. “I’d love to find the sponsorship that we need to be back at Sauble fulltime next year. Because I know that we can contend for podiums. The more we race, the better we’re going to get.”
“If we can’t be at Sauble fulltime we’ll take a look at running more of an ‘outlaw’ schedule,” adds the Conn, ON driver. “I want to race as much as I possibly can – and that’s what we’ll be working to do all off-season.”