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NASCAR-BGN: McLaughlin Ready for NHIS

7 May 1998

CHARLOTTE, NC - Anytime Goulds Pumps Busch Grand National driver gets the opportunity to race at New Hampshire International Speedway it puts a smile on his face and gets the adrenaline pumping in his body. With the opportunity to return to New Hampshire as the defending champion of the Busch Grand National race makes his heart beat even faster. McLaughlin will be looking to become the first ever Busch Grand National repeat winner at the 1-mile oval in Loudon, New Hampshire on May 9th.

Over his driving career, NHIS is the one track that has really helped to raise McLaughlin's driving stock. McLaughlin holds the record at NHIS for most career wins, six. He has taken the checkered flag there in a NASCAR modified, a Busch North car and a Busch Grand National car. In 1990, McLaughlin posted victories in both the modified and Busch North races on the same day.

"New Hampshire holds a special place in my heart," McLaughlin said. "It has been an awesome race track for me in the past and hopefully this year will be the same. I always get to see a lot of friends when we race there and I am looking forward to seeing a bunch of them this year."

McLaughlin knows his Goulds Pumps Racing Team will have to be in top form to repeat as race winners. The competition level in the Busch Series is at an all-time high in 1998. McLaughlin has climbed to 2nd place in the Busch Grand national Points Championship and a solid race will give him the opportunity to make up the 26 point deficit to leader Matt Kenseth.

"We will have to be strong from the start of practice and qualify up front," McLaughlin said. "Last season, we didn't have the best car, but my Crew Chief, Gary Cogswell, called a great race and we were there at the end. Sometimes the best car doesn't win the race and last year was a perfect example. The guys never gave up and continued to work on the car and put me in a position to win."

Don't bet against Mike "Magic Shoes" McLaughlin at NHIS this weekend, as race fans know, anything can happen at "The Magic Mile" when the green flag drops.