Max McLaughlin’s first trip to Bristol Motor Speedway ended with a 13th-place finish in the Zombie Auto 150 on Saturday afternoon. The driver of the No. 1 Mohawk Northeast Toyota Camry ran as high as sixth in his debut at “The Last Great Colosseum”, but his progress was abruptly halted by a broken shock mount.
The two-time Super DirtCar Series Most Popular Driver was credited with the 14th-place starting position and managed to avoid a chaotic four-car pileup on the opening circuit. McLaughlin’s dirt racing tendencies were evident on multiple restarts as he was one of the few drivers to take advantage of the outside groove and gain positions. At the first competition caution on lap 51, McLaughlin pitted from seventh position for four tires, wedge and track bar adjustments to improve his loose handling condition.
McLaughlin fired off well on the lap 54 restart and advanced as high as sixth position. However, he radioed crew chief Robert Huffman that he felt a vibration in the left side tires near the halfway point. The team discovered a broken left rear shock mount on the second competition caution at lap 101. McLaughlin managed to bring the Mohawk Northeast Camry to the checkered flag running on three shocks in 13th position.
Max McLaughlin Quote:
“We had a pretty good run going and we’re getting the car closer to being able to run in the top five. Unfortunately, we just got bit with some bad luck and had a shock issue that pretty much ended our day. We just managed to get it to the end and save a couple points. Thanks to Mohawk for coming on board this weekend, hopefully we can go to South Boston next month, not have any issues, and put a good run together.”