June 20, 2024 | By Colby Trotter

Max McLaughlin Wins First Summer Nationals Race

Photo by Tyler Carr

QUINCY, Ill. — Max McLaughlin began his new career as a full-time Late Model racer this year, and only five starts into his first venture out on the Hell Tour, he’s got his first career DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature win.

McLaughlin, 24, of Mooresville, NC, took the lead from polesitter Daryn Klein on Lap 6 and led the rest of the way to bank the $5,000 grand prize. Using the high side of the 1/4-mile oval for most of the race, McLaughlin held off a charge from 2010 Summer Nationals champion Jason Feger in the final laps to secure the win Wednesday night at Adams County (IL) Speedway.

“I’m just new to this stuff,” McLaughlin said. “It takes something else to find what you like and [G.R. Smith] has been super supportive and has been awesome being patient with me in my learning curve. It takes time and you gotta figure out what you like.”

McLaughlin started fourth on the grid and immediately chose to ride the outside of the track, and it paid off as he took second place on the first lap. He then battled side-by-side with early leader Klein – McLaughlin on the outside as Klein stuck to the bottom groove.

“I had to try to figure out where to carry good momentum,” McLaughlin said. “I was able to sneak by Klein there in the middle.”

With momentum around the outside, McLaughlin drove by Klein to take the lead on Lap 5. Behind him, however, was Feger, who began to close-in as the halfway point neared. Much like McLaughlin, Feger rode the outside of the track to get by Klein for second and then started to make his chase after McLaughlin.

With two laps-to-go, Feger got to McLaughlin’s right rear and nearly pulled even with him down the backstretch. Despite Feger’s best effort, McLaughlin held off the defending DIRTcar Late Model national champion and got back out in front of him to secure his first Hell Tour win.

“This car has been really good and we tried some new stuff tonight and obviously it worked pretty good,” McLaughlin said. “I didn’t know where to really run in (Turns) 1 and 2 and Feger was getting me pretty good and I saw him peaking his nose. Hats off to him for racing me clean.

“We had the best car. It’s just tough when you get to the lead, you don’t know where to run and it makes it tricky.”

Now, McLaughlin and the Team 22 Inc. team will make the eight-plus-hour drive south to Summertown, TN, for the next World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series race at ThunderHill Raceway Park on Thursday, where his chase for the Rookie of the Year title continues.

“Hopefully we can carry the momentum into the World of Outlaws weekend,” McLaughlin said.

UP NEXT: The DIRTcar Summer Nationals next head for Spoon River Speedway on Thursday, June 20.

Tickets will be on sale at the gate or catch all the action on DIRTVision.


Feature (30 Laps): 1. 22*-Max McLaughlin[4]; 2. 25-Jason Feger[3]; 3. 15-Clayton Stuckey[8]; 4. 10K-Daryn Klein[1]; 5. 22R-Will Roland[7]; 6. 29-Spencer Diercks[5]; 7. 1-Tyler Erb[14]; 8. 21-Billy Moyer Sr[9]; 9. 8-Dillon McCowan[12]; 10. 25W-Allen Weisser[11]; 11. 38J-Jake Little[15]; 12. 1ST-Justin Reed[13]; 13. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[16]; 14. 33F-Rickey Frankel[17]; 15. 58-Tyler Clem[18]; 16. 14JR-Trey Mills[19]; 17. 26M-Bob Gardner[20]; 18. 30-Mark Voigt[22]; 19. 33-Kye Blight[10]; 20. 11-Darin Weisinger Jr[21]; 21. 51-Matt Furman[6]; 22. 10-Garrett Smith[2]

Last Chance Showdown (10 Laps): 1. 33F-Rickey Frankel[5]; 2. 58-Tyler Clem[2]; 3. 11-Darin Weisinger Jr[7]; 4. 30-Mark Voigt[12]; 5. 14JR-Trey Mills[15]; 6. 25T-Tucker Finch[3]; 7. 50K-Kayden Clatt[10]; 8. 28-Carson Brown[13]; 9. 38-Thomas Hunziker[16]; 10. (DNF) 11T-Trevor Gundaker[4]; 11. (DNF) 26M-Bob Gardner[8]; 12. (DNF) 75-Daniel Adam[9]; 13. (DNF) 4D-Doug Tye[11]; 14. (DNS) 27M-Rodney Melvin; 15. (DNS) 17A-Austin Howes; 16. (DNS) 2M-Matt Mickelson

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 22*-Max McLaughlin[3]; 2. 29-Spencer Diercks[2]; 3. 21-Billy Moyer Sr[1]; 4. 1ST-Justin Reed[5]; 5. 27M-Rodney Melvin[4]; 6. 33F-Rickey Frankel[8]; 7. 75-Daniel Adam[6]; 8. 28-Carson Brown[7]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 25-Jason Feger[1]; 2. 22R-Will Roland[3]; 3. 25W-Allen Weisser[4]; 4. 38J-Jake Little[6]; 5. 25T-Tucker Finch[5]; 6. 11-Darin Weisinger Jr[7]; 7. 4D-Doug Tye[8]; 8. (DNF) 14JR-Trey Mills[2]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 10-Garrett Smith[4]; 2. 51-Matt Furman[7]; 3. 33-Kye Blight[5]; 4. 1-Tyler Erb[1]; 5. 58-Tyler Clem[2]; 6. 17A-Austin Howes[6]; 7. (DNS) 50K-Kayden Clatt; 8. (DNS) 2M-Matt Mickelson

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 10K-Daryn Klein[1]; 2. 15-Clayton Stuckey[4]; 3. 8-Dillon McCowan[2]; 4. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[5]; 5. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[7]; 6. 26M-Bob Gardner[8]; 7. 30-Mark Voigt[6]; 8. 38-Thomas Hunziker[3]

Qualifying A (2 Laps): 1. 21-Billy Moyer Sr, 00:13.264[7]; 2. 25-Jason Feger, 00:13.481[13]; 3. 29-Spencer Diercks, 00:13.501[1]; 4. 14JR-Trey Mills, 00:13.563[8]; 5. 22*-Max McLaughlin, 00:13.583[2]; 6. 22R-Will Roland, 00:13.600[5]; 7. 27M-Rodney Melvin, 00:13.633[15]; 8. 25W-Allen Weisser, 00:13.646[10]; 9. 1ST-Justin Reed, 00:13.794[14]; 10. 25T-Tucker Finch, 00:13.847[9]; 11. 75-Daniel Adam, 00:13.963[4]; 12. 38J-Jake Little, 00:13.986[3]; 13. 28-Carson Brown, 00:14.002[12]; 14. 11-Darin Weisinger Jr, 00:14.010[6]; 15. 33F-Rickey Frankel, 00:14.092[11]; 16. 4D-Doug Tye, 00:14.217[16]

Qualifying B (2 Laps): 1. 1-Tyler Erb, 00:13.471[15]; 2. 10K-Daryn Klein, 00:13.554[3]; 3. 58-Tyler Clem, 00:13.593[11]; 4. 8-Dillon McCowan, 00:13.643[13]; 5. 50K-Kayden Clatt, 00:13.742[14]; 6. 38-Thomas Hunziker, 00:13.791[1]; 7. 10-Garrett Smith, 00:13.801[8]; 8. 15-Clayton Stuckey, 00:13.810[5]; 9. 33-Kye Blight, 00:13.825[16]; 10. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr, 00:14.028[9]; 11. 17A-Austin Howes, 00:14.161[4]; 12. 30-Mark Voigt, 00:14.172[6]; 13. 51-Matt Furman, 00:14.190[10]; 14. 11T-Trevor Gundaker, 00:14.301[12]; 15. 2M-Matt Mickelson, 00:14.511[2]; 16. (DNS) 26M-Bob Gardner



QUINCY, Mo. -- Four DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals races have run so far in 2024 and Michael Long has won half of them with his victory Wednesday night at Adams County (IL) Speedway.

Long, of Fowler, IL, collected his ninth career Hell Tour win – three of which have now come at Adams County. It’s Long’s home track, which he said his familiarity with the confines helped secure the victory.

“I just grew up racing here. This is where I started racing,” Long said. “I lived like five miles from here and just got a lot of laps around here.”

From fourth on the grid, Long jumped to second on Lap 2, riding the outside and then looked to chase down outside polesitter Kenny Wallace.

Wallace held onto the lead for the next few circuits but Long was right behind him, waiting for his chance to steal the top spot. Side-by-side into Turn 3 with Wallace went Long on Lap 6, and as they rounded Turn 4, Long sealed the pass on the inside.

“Me and Kenny both started on the outside and he took the lead and was able to follow him,” Long said. “I was able to hug the bottom and he started to skate up a little bit and was able to get by him.”

Though Long now gazed at a clear track in front of him, 2023 Summit Modified champion Tyler Nicely was closing the gap behind him. On Lap 12, Nicely had nearly pulled even with the leader before the caution flag was thrown.

On the restart, Long got the jump he needed and set a sizable distance between himself and Nicely to lead the field back around to the checkered flag to secure the win.

“Nicely is really good on tracks like that,” Long said. “I had to keep my momentum up and keep going and was able to stay a car length or two in front of him the whole race.”

UP NEXT: The Summit Modifieds return to action with a visit to Spoon River Speedway on Thursday, June 20, racing alongside the DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Models


Feature (25 Laps): 1. 18L-Michael Long[4]; 2. 25N-Tyler Nicely[3]; 3. 777-Trevor Neville[1]; 4. 99-Hunt Gossum[5]; 5. 36-Kenny Wallace[2]; 6. 22-Austen Becerra[8]; 7. 14C-Rick Conoyer[9]; 8. 59R-Jacob Rexing[12]; 9. 12L-Lucas Lee[6]; 10. 1A-Steve Meyer Jr[14]; 11. 67-Austin Seets[10]; 12. 17V-Mike Vanderiet Jr[11]; 13. 27-Michael Turner[13]; 14. 77D-Drake Stevenson[7]; 15. 76-Shawn Knuckles[15]; 16. 54-Zachary Hawk[17]; 17. 14-Dalton Lane[18]; 18. 16-Shawn Deering[20]; 19. 28D-Matt Diaz[21]; 20. 05-Dave Wietholder[22]; 21. (DNS) 72-Todd Neiheiser; 22. (DNS) 25-Greg Belyea

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 25N-Tyler Nicely[1]; 2. 18L-Michael Long[4]; 3. 77D-Drake Stevenson[5]; 4. 67-Austin Seets[7]; 5. (DNF) 27-Michael Turner[6]; 6. (DNF) 72-Todd Neiheiser[2]; 7. (DNF) 25-Greg Belyea[8]; 8. (DNS) 05-Dave Wietholder

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 777-Trevor Neville[2]; 2. 99-Hunt Gossum[3]; 3. 22-Austen Becerra[1]; 4. 17V-Mike Vanderiet Jr[5]; 5. 1A-Steve Meyer Jr[7]; 6. 54-Zachary Hawk[4]; 7. 16-Shawn Deering[6]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 36-Kenny Wallace[1]; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee[2]; 3. 14C-Rick Conoyer[5]; 4. 59R-Jacob Rexing[4]; 5. 76-Shawn Knuckles[3]; 6. 14-Dalton Lane[6]; 7. 28D-Matt Diaz[7]

Qualifying 1 (3 Laps): 1. 25N-Tyler Nicely, 00:13.990[1]; 2. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 00:14.077[3]; 3. 05-Dave Wietholder, 00:14.146[2]; 4. 18L-Michael Long, 00:14.181[4]; 5. 77D-Drake Stevenson, 00:14.368[6]; 6. 27-Michael Turner, 00:14.581[8]; 7. 67-Austin Seets, 00:14.606[7]; 8. 25-Greg Belyea, 00:14.633[5]

Qualifying 2 (3 Laps): 1. 22-Austen Becerra, 00:14.199[5]; 2. 777-Trevor Neville, 00:14.218[4]; 3. 99-Hunt Gossum, 00:14.396[6]; 4. 54-Zachary Hawk, 00:14.497[2]; 5. 17V-Mike Vanderiet Jr, 00:14.591[3]; 6. 16-Shawn Deering, 00:14.674[7]; 7. 1A-Steve Meyer Jr, 00:14.795[1]

Qualifying 3 (3 Laps): 1. 36-Kenny Wallace, 00:14.582[2]; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee, 00:14.599[5]; 3. 76-Shawn Knuckles, 00:14.856[4]; 4. 59R-Jacob Rexing, 00:14.893[3]; 5. 14C-Rick Conoyer, 00:14.920[1]; 6. 14-Dalton Lane, 00:15.146[6]; 7. 28D-Matt Diaz, 00:15.302[7]


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