Heinke Expands HBR Modified Program

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Jimmy Phelps (98h) will be joined by Max McLaughlin, Dave Blaney and Peter Britten at Heinki-Baldwin Racing this year. (Dave Dalesandro Photo)
Jimmy Phelps (98h) will be joined by Max McLaughlin, Dave Blaney and Peter Britten at Heinki-Baldwin Racing this year. (Dave Dalesandro Photo)
Jimmy Phelps (98h) will be joined by Max McLaughlin, Dave Blaney and Peter Britten at Heinki-Baldwin Racing this year. (Dave Dalesandro Photo)

WEEDSPORT, N.Y. – Al Heinke has announced the expansion of the Heinke-Baldwin Racing team with Dave Blaney, Max McLaughlin and Peter Britten joining Jimmy Phelps on the HBR roster.

In addition HBR has added Mike McLaughlin to the team as crew chief on the No. 6H team for his son Max.

Phelps is looking forward to sharing space with his new teammates, as he sees the tremendous benefits of sharing insight and perspective among all the members of the newly expanded team.

“I am excited about the direction of the team as we head into 2016,” said Phelps. “Peter has been like family, and is a hell of a racer, so it will be great for all of us to have him officially in our camp. I don’t know how you could not be excited to get to work with Dave Blaney and Mike McLaughlin. These guys are true legends, and their guidance will be invaluable. And what’s not to love about Max? This kid is the real deal, and most importantly he is a great kid. I truly believe he will be a huge star someday, and if I can help be a small part of that journey, I will be proud of that.”

“It’s the collaboration of these astute racing minds that we are most looking forward to,” said team owner Al Heinke.  “The insights that we’ll share will help each driver to achieve his best performance- and we will work as a real team.”

Blaney and Britten will split the 2016 Super DIRTcar Series races in the No. 18H, with Britten finding himself closer to home as he races at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday nights.  Blaney will work around his sprint car schedule with Motter Motorsports to join HBR for a select number of Super DIRTcar Series races. When Blaney is racing, Britten will move to the crew chief position for him, working alongside Kurt Wiegel and Phelps in the No. 98H.

“It’s what I’ve dreamed about my whole racing career, so to get an opportunity like this is a dream come true.  Makes all the hard work and late nights to get to this point all worth it.  And I can’t wait to get going on the next chapter of my career, which will have a different kind of challenge.  Along with my driving, I get the chance to work with Jimmy, Dave, and Max from a crew chief’s  point of view,” said Britten. :We all want Jimmy to win the SDS championship this year, and I will be doing whatever it takes to make that happen.  Dave’s driving record speaks for itself and it will be a great learning experience to work side by side with him.   It wasn’t all that long ago that I started my own big block journey. All of the experience at the HBR shop will help Max to become a consistent front runner, and that’s a priority too.  It will be super to watch a young driver grow.”

Max McLaughlin, who impressed many at the Bad Boy Buggies World Finals last fall by setting fast time, joins HBR with his Hall of Famer dad Mike as his crew chief.  Max will run the Super DIRTcar Series and Brewerton on Friday nights with his teammate Phelps.

“I cannot wait to get to Weedsport.  I have never been this fired up about anything, it is such an honor to drive for such an incredible team. It’s awesome that even with such a well prepared team, my dad will still be a really big part.  Having my dad by my side is huge for me.  HBR isn’t just a team, I feel like they are family.  And I think it is a perfect fit,” said Max McLaughlin.

Blaney will take the wheel of the No. 18H for an estimated 10 Super DIRTcar Series races.  His 35 years in racing, which includes racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and a championship with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, positions him as an invaluable source of knowledge.

“Really excited to be part of HBR and to race part of the Super DIRTcar Series,” said Blaney. “(I) have a lot of respect for Al Heinke and would do anything to help his teams succeed. There are some tracks in the series this year I’m really looking forward to racing at and at the same time excited to race alongside Jimmy Phelps and Max McLaughlin. Working with Peter Britten on our car will be interesting. A lot of times the best crew chiefs also have a driving background. His experience driving Modifieds will undoubtedly help me get better.”

Heinke-Baldwin Racing won the 2015 Super DIRTcar Series championship with driver Matt Sheppard, who left the team following the World Finals last year and has formed his own race team.