Interviews

Gary McLean – Modified Racing is “the fastest bang for your buck.”

For Gary McLean, the draw to modified competition is simple – ingenuity, and the fastest bang for your buck.

It’s why he has been with the Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC OSCAAR Modifieds from the beginning, won five championships, and is still part of the competition. While admitting his plans are currently undecided, McLean would like to see the No. 8 out at a few modified events in 2021, with discussions about possibly running the full schedule.

“We love all of the tracks and it would be hard to miss any of them,” he commented. “Besides, I think the OSCAAR fans have had a long enough break from the (No.) 8 mod and I am sure most of the competitors miss us.”

When it comes to deciding their calendar, McLean says he likes all the tracks, but the possibility of returning to Kawartha Speedway is circled on the calendar.

“We have had a small amount of success there and didn’t think we would ever get another shot at such a nice place,” he commented.

When they do return to the track, the goal is simple in “always try to be the best we personally can be every time,” and they showed potential in that regard in their lone start at Jukasa Motor Speedway in 2020. Unfortunately after qualifying on pole, though, McLean would suffer a motor issue to take him out of contention.

“Obviously we need to race more,” he shared. “You can’t just show up in the middle of the year and expect to be as fast as the guys who are making laps and laps all year.”

Knowing they need to always be searching for more speed comes from knowing the depth of competition the modifieds process.

“The really cool part of modified racing is the fact that you can have a wide swath of competition due to the nature of the class so to pick one driver or even a few to watch would be hard without missing other potential ones,” he offered. “The LRR sponsored cars are always good, TJ is a varney trained guy so he has an advantage for sure but honestly there are another 5 -10 that can get things done on a given night with a few new faces coming in to try it out.

“I personally love watching quite a few of these guys and the talent they have, especially in the rear view mirror!!”

When they look in the mirror, it’ll be the No. 8 adorning McLean’s car, which goes back to when he took over for Rick Woolner behind the wheel of the car when it had the No. 08 on it. He’ll also be surrounded by family, which is fitting considering his father is his racing hero.

“He raced with no money and I mean none,” McLean recalled. “Times were tough on farmers back then – just hard work and talent.”

With having watched his father and taken his own journey to get to this point, it’s no surprise McLean advises those hoping to reach championship potential realize it takes a lot of hard work.

“Young racers just need to work hard and study everything,” he commented. “Races are won in the shop, so if you can find that one or two friends that want it as bad as you, then that’s what it is really about – checkered flags are a byproduct.”

Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://www.oscaar.ca. Also, make sure to “like” the official OSCAAR Racing Facebook page, while following both the Twitter and Instagram accounts (@OSCAARRacing) to keep up to date on everything you need to know.

OSCAAR’s 2020 racing season was supported by several dedicated partners including Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Knightworks Design, Living Lighting Canada, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd., Touchwood Cabinets, Sauble Falls Campground, The Fyre Place & Patio Shop, Ohsweken Speedway, American Racer, and Grisdale Race Products.

By: Ashley McCubbin

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