Just one season in to his modified racing career, Brent McLean, a product of the well-known Ontario racing family, is poised to tackle the OSCAAR modified touring series for the 2012 season. After spending some time with the Hurricane Midgets touring series, McLean was eager to compete in a touring series in his new modified. Although he has just one season of modified racing to his name, McLean has some of the most knowledgeable teammates and family members in Ontario modified racing to help him through the transition.
“My family has been racing modifieds forever. I kind of just got in to it because I’ve been around modifieds my entire life and it’s in my blood. I have five relatives that race modifieds,” said McLean.
The McLean family is among the top team components in Ontario motorsports, but once the green flag drops, the relationship between cousins, brothers, and uncles vanishes to simply another group of determined competitors.
“It’s pretty exciting knowing that you’re racing against family, but yet you don’t lay back any just because they’re family. You still go hard,” explained McLean. “You try to win each and every night. Even though they’re you’re family, you can still give them the bumper.”
McLean will be driving the #7 modified when opening day rolls around and will enjoy sponsorship from Home Building Centre Bowmanville, RN Manufacturing, and McLean farms. McLean originally intended to take his racing career south of the border for 2012, but after the announcement to create the OSCAAR Modifieds series he felt it was the right choice to remain in his home province.
“Once this OSCAAR deal came out, I was really happy to see that the class is booming and where it needs to be. The modifieds haven’t got very much respect over the past few years. Now, just following OSCAAR is giving us the level of respect we deserve,” said McLean.
The commitment to a common rules package and unity before the drop of the first green flag is part of what has drawn many competitors including McLean.
“When we all get together, it can be a pretty good show. Trying to run three different tracks all with modifieds, it just didn’t work,” said McLean. “Coming together as one I think is the best thing for it.”
Although the McLeans have run primarily at the Varney Motor Speedway over the years, Brent McLean is most excited for the series’ stops at Peterborough Speedway where he has run well several times. With that in mind, there will be challenges for the native of Conn,Ontario adjusting to different tracks on a weekly basis rather than the same track week in and week out. However, McLean says the team’s existing work ethic will make the transition nearly seamless.
“We work on our car non-stop because if we’re not winning, we’re doing something wrong. It’s not going to be too bad track to track, other than changing gears and going back on the scales to get it where it needs to be,” said McLean. “Last year, we changed our car every week even though we were running at the same track. We had it in the shop, tore it down to nothing, and put it back together because we weren’t winning.”
McLean will not enter the season as a rookie in 2012 as he has racing experience in a modified, but is still in search of his first modified feature victory – a statistic he hopes to change this season. After finishing close to a track championship last season at Varney with a final standings position of fourth, an effort that was hindered by a blown motor mid-season, McLean hopes to stand atop the podium as an OSCAAR champion after the final checkered flag at the Autumn Colours Classic Thanksgiving Weekend.
McLean intends to run a full schedule in the inaugural OSCAAR Modifieds season which kicks off on the Victoria Day long weekend, May 20, 2012 at the Sunset Speedway in Stroud, Ontario.
By Clayton Johns