The 2012 season marked the inaugural season of the OSCAAR Hanover Holiday Modifieds and Gary McLean went out and flat out dominated on his way to winning the championship. Last season, McLean once again went out with the same goal in mind and succeeded – scoring five wins and 11 top fives – for his second straight OSCAAR Championship.
In reflecting back on the championship run at the Canadian Motorsports Expo, McLean said that this past year was certainly tougher than 2012.
“But that’s what you expect,” McLean added. “You help the kids and get them better because you want to race the best guys.”
The Conn native kicked last season off like he kicked last year by winning the season opener at Sunset Speedway after leading all 30 laps. He’d then back the win up with a second at Barrie Speedway, followed by a third at Delaware Speedway. A return trip to Sunset Speedway brought forth McLean a solid fourth place finish, followed by an 11th place finish the next night after suffering damage in an early race incident.
McLean would get the damage fixed on his No. 8 McLean Industrial Design and Fabrication Ltd./McLean Farms Modified before the series headed to Sauble Speedway. He’d duel with David McCullough for the lead for a number of laps before settling for second.
McLean then got on a roll as he would win at Sunset Speedway at the end of July, followed by a win at the Chase for the Colours event at Peterborough Speedway.
McLean then finished off the month of August with a solid fourth at Kawartha Speedway, followed by a second at Delaware Speedway.
The only DNF of McLean’s season would come at Flamboro Speedway when a mid-race wreck saw McLean’s modified sustain heavy front end damage.
The No. 8 would work hard and have the car ready to go for the Rick Woolner Memorial at Varney Motor Speedway.
“If it was any race but the Rick Woolner Memorial, you wouldn’t had seen the car back,” McLean stated. “These guys work hard and you can’t expect them to drop everything and come help. But for that race, they bonded together.”
The hard work paid off as McLean timed in as the quickest car and won the preliminary feature on Saturday night at Varney. Rain would then fall, forcing the Sunday 50 lap feature to be moved to Sunset Speedway’s Velocity weekend and shortened to 40 laps. McLean kept the domination going despite the move to Sunset as he won his heat and then led all 40 laps on the way to scoring the victory.
McLean then capped off his 2013 season with a win in the Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway after holding the field off in a series of late race restarts.
McLean says when it comes to his team, they focus on each race.
“Really we go to every race to win,” McLean said. “We have a lot of fun. The guys put a lot of work into it. We just go for the win.”
McLean will be back in 2014 as the series heads in a new direction, ready for their inaugural trip to Capital City Speedway.
“Excited to try out a new track,” he commented. “We’ll go have some fun and see what we can do.”
He’s also excited in the way the series is heading with a large car count expected in just the series’ third year.
“There’s more and more interest,” he said. “Lot of guys are going to step up that have ran other series, and some are coming to run the series that have competed in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.”
For his success last year, McLean was honored as part of the CME Short Track Night of Champions and was ranked sixth on Inside Track’s Year End Short Track Power Rankings presented by London Recreational.