Team Kendall Racer of the Month - May 2014 - Charles McLaws
Longtime Team Kendall member Charles McLaws of Winslow, Arizona has been racing competitively for more than 40 years. Coming from a small town, McLaws originally sought out racing for personal entertainment; now, it's become an integral part of his family, bringing them all together each race.
"I love that my passion for racing has been passed down to my children and grandchildren because it's something we can all share together," said McLaws. "Most people think racing is a single-person sport, but it's really a team effort because there's a lot of work that goes into maintaining a vehicle and prepping for a race - you can't do it alone. I credit my wife Liz for inspiring me and igniting my competitive spirit as well as my crew for their support and dedication."
McLaws and his crew of ten, which includes friends and family members, have been together for many years and have gone through a lot. In 2011, the crew lost one of their most important members - McLaws' 13 year-old-grandson Hayden Walton - in a tragic baseball accident. "Hayden loved helping me out and even though he's no longer with us, he's still a very important part of our crew. He is what motivates us to continue living out our passion," shared McLaws.
Despite the tragedy, McLaws and his crew remained a unit and continued to compete, dedicating each race to Hayden. In 2013, McLaws achieved one of his proudest accomplishments to-date when he qualified in the top half of the field at the Division 7 race at Firebird Race Way in Chandler, Arizona. McLaws finished the race with a career best - 5.64 at 254 mph.
"Charles is a pillar to motorsports: both in his community and on the road while competing. The Team Kendall sponsorship is perfect for racers such as Charles, as his passion for the sport of drag racing is unsurpassed," said Marketer James Leathers of Arizona Petroleum in Phoenix, Arizona. "We're proud to sponsor Charles and the entire McLaws Motorsports family and congratulate them on being named Team Kendall Racer of the Month for May!"
After decades of racing, McLaws competed with more than 20 cars and across multiple divisions. Currently, he races in the NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car division with a 2003 Pontiac Firebird. "This is by far the best car we've had," McLaws said. "We've really come a long way in the last 13 years when we first transitioned into the Top Alcohol Funny Car division."
This season, McLaws has qualified each race to the high caliber of racers in his division. His goal for 2014 is to make it to the final round in a least one race before the season closes in November.
We wish Charles and his crew the best of luck on the remainder of his season!