Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – WEEDSPORT, NY – Apparently, Max McLaughlin can go home again, and he’ll do just that in 2022.
McLaughlin announced via social media on Tuesday that he’ll return to the seat of a Heinke-Baldwin Racing machine for the entire Super DIRTcar Series next season after spending a little over a year driving the Carl Myers Enterprises CME, Inc. #32C.
The new deal with HBR is something Max is extremely excited about.
“This is just awesome,” McLaughlin said. “I’m beyond excited. It’s obvious that when they unload their equipment, it’s second to none.”
McLaughlin can’t wait to get started as well. He’s planning to hit the ground running when the first green flag of ’22 flies high in the air.
“We fully expect to win races and contend for a Super DIRTcar Series championship,” he said. “I know this is the team that can do it.”
The two-time Series event winner is also excited to be reunited with his former teammate, Jimmy Phelps.
“I can’t wait to work with Jimmy again,” he said. “To have a teammate of his caliber, now that I feel I’m capable of giving good feedback, will be good for both of us. We’ll be very strong comparing setups.”
For his part, Phelps is just as excited to have McLaughlin back in the fold.
“This is going to be so good all around,” Phelps said. “Max and his dad, Mike, have continued to be like family and we’ve tried to help each other along the way. To have them back on at HBR can only produce positive results for all of us.”
How did the whole HBR deal come about this time around?
“Al (Heinke) approached us about coming back to the team for next year,” McLaughlin said. “I think he wanted to do a two-car program again and this was a good time for both of us to reunite.”
With his return to the HBR organization, McLaughlin will leave the CME, Inc #32C team where he finished a solid fifth in Super DIRTcar Series points this past season, just ahead of his new teammate Phelps. To say he’s grateful for his time piloting Vic Coffey’s iconic red and yellow machine would be an understatement.
“Vic and Kyle (Coffey, his teammate at CME) are just awesome people,” he said. “I’m beyond thankful for them giving me the opportunity drive their car and get my first two Super DIRTcar Series wins. I honestly don’t think I’d have the opportunity to be back with HBR without them.”
While Max and the HBR team are formulating their schedule for 2022 season, plans are to run at least one weekly track as well the full Series. However, they don’t know which track that’ll be just yet.
The Mooresville, NC native did state, though, that he has desires to defend his DIRTcar Nationals title in February at Volusia Speedway Park. If all goes according to plan, fans will see him do so in a newly-numbered 8H.