WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND Tony Stewart Racing, McMahan Looking Forward to Settling the Score at Eldora Speedway INDIANAPOLIS (April 10, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Paul McMahan is hoping that the old adage, "What Goes Around Comes...
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND
Tony Stewart Racing, McMahan Looking Forward to Settling the Score at Eldora Speedway
INDIANAPOLIS (April 10, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Paul McMahan is hoping that the old adage, "What Goes Around Comes Around," rings true as he and the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team prepare for their first World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Series competition of the season at Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio, this weekend. McMahan's trials and tribulations last year at the half-mile, high-banked clay oval were rough by any standards.
In six appearances at Eldora Speedway in 2006, McMahan had his fair share of drama, including an off-track altercation that saw a push vehicle collide with the No. 20 machine. In the WoO Sprint Series' last appearance at the facility on Aug. 4, 2006, McMahan saw his chances at victory erased by a vicious turn four accident that would not only sideline him for the night, but also retire a race car for the season. McMahan was unhurt in both incidents.
In spite of the drama, the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team also had a bit of success at Eldora Speedway last season, as McMahan regrouped to post three top-10 finishes at the facility. He earned a seventh-place finish in the WoO Sprint Series' first appearance on April 8, as well as a 10th-place finish on June 3. McMahan's final top-10 came in the history-rich King's Royal by Crown Royal event, in which he finished 10th.
With that said, McMahan and Co. are hoping that this weekend's two-day event will begin the upswing of their battle with Lady Luck at the legendary dirt track.
McMahan and the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team enter this weekend's racing action ranked 13th in the WoO Sprint Series Championship standings. The team has earned one top-five finish and three top-10 finishes thus far in 2007, putting McMahan only 264 points behind series leader Joey Saldana. The team has also won one B-main and one dash event in 12 races.
Quotes from Paul McMahan, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle:
You had a rough couple of races at Eldora Speedway last year. Is there a score to settle with karma?
"In a word, absolutely. Eldora, while it wasn't completely unkind to us last year, definitely left a lot of room for improvement in the luck department. Getting caught up in a crash last August really was a hard blow as we were having one of our best runs of the season and would have likely won that race. It also didn't do much for our momentum as we headed into the Knoxville Nationals the next week. There's a reason Eldora Speedway is considered to be one of the toughest race tracks in the country. It can jump and bite you when you least expect it. We'd like nothing more than to get our first win of the season this weekend. The fact that Tony (Stewart, car owner) owns the track and that our sponsors Bass Pro Shops and Chevrolet are also big supporters would make it a great way to turn our season around."
In spite of everything, you've said before that Eldora Speedway is one of your favorite race tracks. Why is that?
"I absolutely love going to Eldora. It's one of the most exciting places we race all season. It's a momentum track. You don't want to start from the back. It's hard to pick your way through a lot of traffic and it makes qualifying and your heat race a huge part of the night. You're not going to see a lot of drivers win from the back of the field. Ideally, you want to have the car set-up where you can get rolling around the top and carry that momentum forward as the speed builds with every lap. Eldora is the perfect place to find out where your engine program is, as it's a place that requires a strong motor. I can't wait to get on the track this weekend, especially with the new surface. I think race fans will see some of the best racing of this season."
What was your first impression of Eldora Speedway?
"The first time I ever saw Eldora Speedway, I knew that it was the real deal. Coming from California, I'd never seen a track quite like it. My first trip to Eldora came early in my racing career. I wasn't competing as a driver that night. I was working for Johnny Herrera at the time and had come to Ohio with him to race. I remember that I had to go out on the track and walk the banking. You really can't get a true feel for the track until you do. I'm really excited to see the new clay that Tony has put on the track. I think it's going to help us put on an even better show for the fans. The buzz is that the banking will return to how it was a few years ago, which should make the track even faster. One thing is for certain: Eldora Speedway is a track that you never forget your first look at."