McGrath takes to the asphalt
By Bert Lehman
Neosha’s Mitch McGrath is taking on a new challenge in 2016 — Super Late Model racing on asphalt.
Over the past few years McGrath has become one of the hot-shoe dirt Late Model pilots in Eastern Wisconsin, so it’s a little surprising to hear about his switch to asphalt racing.
He said the switch was the idea of one of his sponsors.
“One of our longtime sponsors, Jim and Nancy from Johnny Manhatten’s, it’s something they’ve wanted to do for awhile,” McGrath said about the switch. “It’s nice and close to the restaurant in Hubertus. Hopefully we’ll get some advertisement out there for the restaurant.”
It’s a big change for McGrath as he said he has never raced on asphalt prior to this season.
“They’ve (Johnny Manhatten’s) been a very good help on my dirt car and I said right away I’d love the opportunity to try it,” McGrath said.
Once the decision was made to go asphalt racing, McGrath’s team purchased a Super Late Model chassis from Pathfinder Chassis in Sun Prairie. McGrath said it is one of the best Late Model chassis around.
“We got top-notch equipment, so now it’s up to the driver,” he said.
McGrath made his debut in the asphalt Super Late Model at Slinger Speedway April 24. There were 32 Super Late Models on hand, and McGrath qualified for the feature, which was his goal.
“It was a good start,” McGrath said.
He said that he expected asphalt racing to be totally different from dirt racing, but he said a lot of the same principals apply to both forms of racing.
Qualifying for the feature was exciting, but not quite as exciting as winning a dirt Late Model feature, McGrath said with a laugh.
Dirt racing fans will still have the opportunity to see McGrath on the dirt “a handful” of times this summer, including the George Scheffler Memorial race on Aug. 26, also at Oshkosh Speedzone.
(This article first appeared in the May 2016 issue of Full Throttle magazine.)
Here is the interview Full Throttle editor Bert Lehman had with McGrath on Saturday, April 30.