LIMA — Some kids dream of playing football for the Cleveland Browns. Other kids dream of playing basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Max Stambaugh dreamed of competing and winning at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Stambaugh and the rest of the K&L Ready Mix NRA Sprints were on hand for Firecracker Friday – The Night Before the Bob Reynolds Memorial on Friday.
Stambaugh has had a tremendous 2015 season so far. The Elida graduate won the Memorial Cup on May 22 and the Steve Brown Memorial on May 29. Entering Friday’s racing, he was in second place in the Sprints division with 1,162 points. Stambaugh trailed Jared Horstman, who had 1,164 points.
“There was nothing better than the first win I got,” Stambaugh said. “As a little kid I was always at Limaland and now things are starting to click. Crazy to beat the big guys out there like Randy Hannagan and Tim Allison. Randy is super good and gets the job done. I would like to follow what he has done in his career.”
Stambaugh first started competing at Limaland when he was 15. He used to be happy just to be out there. Now as a veteran, he is looking for bigger and better things.
“My career evolved when I got hooked up with Ron Hammons,” Stambaugh said. “That was good for me. We’re very lucky and fortunate to get with him. So far this year we’ve been very consistent. We are always trying to hunt for a win. Hopefully it takes off.”
There are many people behind the scenes that have helped Stambaugh become successful.
“I have a really good crew behind me,” Stambaugh said. “My crew chief, Jody Long, has really taught me a lot. Our tires that we are using this year are great. We actually blew one out earlier this year but the backups work just as well.”
Stambaugh has his sights set on some clear goals for the remainder of the season.
“We definitely want to get a couple of more wins this year,” Stambaugh said. “We are also trying to win the championship. We’re in the hunt; just have to keep our heads straight. I think it will come right down to the end. It will come down to me and Horstman. We are pretty comparable right now and he is driving really well.”
Competing at Limaland every week has its benefits when competing against drivers who come in for specific races like the Brad Doty Classic.
“You run with the best of the best,” Stambaugh said. “We try to keep our car good for that. Fifty cars are there on those nights. I think it’s an advantage running there each week. I know the track really well and try to use that to my advantage.”The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.