McMahan Looks for Continued Success at Eldora Paul McMahan knows the history of the Kings Royal and Eldora Speedway very well, after all, he drives for Tony Stewart who owns the track. From the time he first strapped into a sprint car back...
McMahan Looks for Continued Success at Eldora
Paul McMahan knows the history of the Kings Royal and Eldora Speedway very well, after all, he drives for Tony Stewart who owns the track.
From the time he first strapped into a sprint car back in California in 1987, McMahan had sought a victory at the famed half-mile. He achieved that earlier this season when the World of Outlaws visited Eldora Speedway on June 2.
With that win under his belt, McMahan is now chasing a win in the 24th Annual Kings Royal by Crown Royal, which will pay $50,000 to the winner on Saturday, July 14. Last season he finished 10th in the event and in his career has three Top-10 finishes in the race, including two seventh-place performances.
"You are always excited to head back to somewhere that you have won at during a season," said McMahan, driver of the Bass Pro Shops Eagle. "The Kings Royal is just another race though. It's a little bit different format than we normally run. It's a big money race and people get hyped up about it. We try to take each race at a time and go race. We go to win every race and hopefully we can pull that one off also."
With the Kings Royal by Crown Royal being the fifth event of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2 for the World of Outlaws, it will be the first high-paying race of a month of action that will have every driver at the top of their game.
"The Kings Royal is like a smaller version of the Knoxville Nationals," he noted. "Everybody wants to win, and the money is just a bonus. It's good to be called "King" after that race, like Joey (Saldana) has been called two times. The names on that list go for years, and it would be an honor to have my name on that list."
With a solid field of cars expected and a format that is similar to the traditional World of Outlaws format, though there will be six heat races, rather than four, McMahan knows each time he takes to the track will be vital in determining how the night will play out. The Top-three finishers in each of the six heat races will move directly into the A-Feature.
"You have to qualify well and make it through your heat race," explained McMahan. "It's not that much different from what our format usually is."
Prior to the Kings Royal, the Knight Before the Kings Royal will be contested on Friday, July 13, under a standard World of Outlaws format. While having an extra day on the track can help a driver learn a few things about his car or the track surface for the next night, it can also add an extra variable to the equation if a driver has trouble on Friday night leading into the Kings Royal.
"It can help you or it can hurt you, depending on how your night goes," explained McMahan, when asked about the Knight Before the Kings Royal. "If you have a good night and everything goes smooth, the guys just have to do maintenance on the race car for the next day and it's great. If you crash at Eldora that seems to destroy a whole race car, so it depends on how the first night goes to determine how relaxed you will be for the second night."
After earning his first win of the season on June 2 at Eldora, McMahan went on to win again at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin to begin this month. He entered the three race week in Ohio beginning at Limaland Motorsports Park on Wednesday night, a very solid eighth in the World of Outlaws championship standings, on the strength of 20 Top-10 finishes, with nine of those being in the Top-Five.
"We are pretty proud of every win, but to win at the boss's home track is pretty cool," he stated. "The only thing that would have been nicer when we won in June would have been if the boss was there to see his car win a race."
McMahan nearly won with Stewart on-hand at the end of May at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. He led a majority of the race and finished a very strong second.
"It would be special to win a race when he is there," McMahan said. "To me it doesn't matter if he is there or not, I just want to win races. To get a phone call from him after we win a race is nice too. We'll go out and see if we can pull one out there. We'll have a lot of people out there from Bass Pro Shops and Crown Royal, so it would be a good time to win a race."
McMahan has set fast four times so far this season, which is his first season running Chevrolet engines. He also has won a Crane Cams Dash to earn a pole position in an A-Feature. After some bad luck earlier in the season, McMahan has been one of the most consistent drivers over the last month, earning eight Top-10 finishes in the last 13 events. On Wednesday evening at Limaland Motorsports Park, he turned in the second quickest last in time trials, with a very solid 42 cars taking time.
"The motors are running very well," smiled McMahan. "Paul Kistler is building some great engines with this Chevy power. We're just looking to capitalize as best as we can. Anytime we can win a race, we look to take advantage of that. It's not the easiest thing to do out here, to win a race with the World of Outlaws. We've got two so far, and we're not satisfied with that so far, we are looking for more to come."
The Kings Royal by Crown Royal is the fifth event of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2 for the World of Outlaws and will be broadcast on Sunday, July 15 at Noon Eastern, 11 a.m. Central.
On Friday, July 13 at Eldora Speedway for the Knight Before the Kings Royal tickets for those ages 16-up will be $25, while tickets for those ages 12-15 will be $15, and tickets for kids ages 11-under will be $6
On Saturday, July 14 at Eldora Speedway for the Kings Royal by Crown Royal tickets for those ages 16 --up will be $30, while tickets for those ages 12-15 will be $20 and kids 11-under will be $10.