WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Not bad for a first timer.
After setting quick time in practice and earning his second career pole, Max McLaughlin led every lap before Mother Nature forced the premature ending of the Great Outdoors RV Superstore 100 at Watkins Glen International, declaring the driver of the No. 1 the winner.
“It’s awesome. I can’t believe it–I’ve never even raced on a road course before,” he said in disbelief. “We come here, fastest in practice–sweep the weekend. It’s beyond words, man. My dad won here, it’s always been my favorite track as a kid. To get my first NASCAR win here. This is priceless. Coming to 10 to go or whatever, I had tears in my eyes, ‘oh my god, this ain’t really happening, is it?’ […] I love this place, really looking forward to getting back here soon.”
With weather in the area, what would be the final restart was a bit hairy for McLaughlin. He briefly lost the lead to Tanner Gray, but quickly regained it before a lightning strike delayed the event.
Then, the rain began to fall. After about 30 minutes, NASCAR deployed the track drying team in an attempt to go back racing. But shortly thereafter, the rain picked back up, forcing NASCAR to call the event six laps before it’s full distance.
The win was Hattori Racing Enterprises’ second consecutive in the event, as Brett Moffitt earned the checkered flag last season in this very car. The year prior, Ryan Truex led 26 laps from the pole before being sidelined due to an accident.
Two-time winner in 2019 Chase Cabre, championship points leader Sam Mayer, Ty Gibbs and Ruben Garcia Jr. rounded out the top five, with Dylan Murry, Spencer Davis, Dale Quarterley, Derek Kraus and Colin Garrett completing the top 10.
The Great Outdoors RV Superstore 100 is scheduled to be broadcast on NBCSN on Wednesday, August 7 at 6 p.m.
The next K&N Pro Series East event, the Bush’s Beans 150, will take place in two weeks on Thursday, August 15 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mayer won earlier this season at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”