Tony Stewart Racing Ready to Turn Up the Heat in Arizona Racing Action McMahan, TSR Seek First WoO Victory in the Desert INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 26, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Paul McMahan and the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team are ...
Tony Stewart Racing Ready to Turn Up the Heat in Arizona Racing Action
McMahan, TSR Seek First WoO Victory in the Desert
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 26, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Paul McMahan and the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team are eager to head into the desert of Arizona this week, as they hope to capture their first World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Series victory of the season. McMahan and the WoO Sprint Series will return to USA Race Park on Friday (March 2), and Manzanita Speedway on Saturday (March 3), for the first time this season. The No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team won the spring event at USA Race Park in Tucson, Ariz., on March 4, 2006, in the series' first outing at the facility.
McMahan is hoping that history will repeat itself and that he'll be able to drive the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle into Victory Lane at USA Race Park for a second time.
"It's always a confidence booster when you go back to a track where you've had previous success," McMahan said. "We know how to win at USA Race Park and we'll use all of our resources and notes to see if we can do so again this Friday for Bass Pro Shops and Chevrolet. USA Race Park is such a great facility; it's one of the nicest facilities we compete at throughout the year. The track is always in great shape and it's not uncommon to have three-wide racing throughout the night. It's a fun track to compete on."
Friday's WoO Sprint Series event at USA Race Park will mark the series' third event at the 3/8-mile facility. McMahan and the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team competed there two times in 2006, earning a 10th-place finish in October of 2006 in addition to the spring victory. The March win marked McMahan's fifth career WoO Sprint Series A-main event triumph.
Saturday's race at Manzanita Speedway will see the WoO Sprint Series make its first of two appearances in Phoenix during the 2007 racing season. In two outings at the half-mile, semi-banked facility in 2006, McMahan scored an eighth-place finish on March 3, 2006, and a 21st-place finish on Oct. 20, 2006.
While the facility presents a challenge to McMahan and the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team, they are confident they have its number.
"Manzanita is an older race track and it can be a real challenge to keep up with it," said McMahan. "What we've got going for us is that we've got notes from last year's races and years of experience between the crew and I. We've seen this track do many things over the years and we know how to adjust to the changing conditions it can present. I enjoy racing on half-mile tracks and I think we're going to be contenders for the victory this Saturday at Manzanita."
McMahan and the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team heads to the Arizona desert with some positive momentum under their belts, as they posted the season's first "Fast Qualifier" award for Bass Pro Shops and Chevrolet at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., last Saturday night. The award marked another first in Chevrolet's open-wheel program history. A broken pushrod ended the No. 20 team's night prematurely in Friday's A-main and McMahan battled to a 12th place finish in Saturday's A-main after mud packed under the throttle pedal, creating acceleration issues in the late stages of the race.
"The bright spot of the weekend was setting quick time on Saturday night," McMahan said. "It felt good to have a fast car, but we just couldn't get any luck to fall our way. We had a good run going on Friday when we lost a push rod that took us out of the feature early. On Saturday, we had a really great car. We had a good starting position for the A-main and had moved up to third when the pedals started to get mud-packed. Mud was coming in the cockpit in chunks. The track was really heavy and rough and I tried to clean the mud out from under the pedals during the caution, but I couldn't get it all. Toward the end of the race, I could barely get the pedal to move and we slipped to 12th to finish the A-main. It was great to put the first fast time award of the year in the record books for Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops. We believe it will be the first of many. We're looking forward to heading to Arizona this week, especially to USA Race Park."
McMahan and the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Eagle team enters this weekend's racing action ranked 13th in the WoO Sprint Series Championship standings. The team has earned one top-10 finish in five series events thus far in 2007, putting McMahan only 107 points behind series leader Donny Schatz in the championship standings.