McMahan wins Second Gold Cup Preliminary. CHICO, CA (September 5) -- Paul McMahan exchanged the lead with Greg DeCaires four times within six exciting laps Friday at Silver Dollar Speedway on his way to winning the Second Preliminary Feature at...
McMahan wins Second Gold Cup Preliminary.
CHICO, CA (September 5) -- Paul McMahan exchanged the lead with Greg DeCaires four times within six exciting laps Friday at Silver Dollar Speedway on his way to winning the Second Preliminary Feature at the 50th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions.
McMahan passed DeCaires during the 20th and 24th laps and led the final 6¼ laps to claim his first Preliminary Feature victory of the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series Silver Anniversary season.
"This is the greatest thing," said McMahan, who once lived in nearby Oroville, CA. "My whole California swing has just stunk, but thanks to Vivarin, Selma Shell, David Helm, Sonny Kratzer and everybody. I just want to thank all the fans for coming out tonight.
"When Greg drove by me, I said 'that guy is leading this thing.' But then, I got a good run up on the top, and he kind of missed the bottom. Then I went back down low on the track or he would've driven right back by me. I just can't ask for anything better than this!"
McMahan beat DeCaires across the finish line in the Second Dash Race to claim the front row outside starting position. McMahan and pole-sitter Jason Meyers raced wheel-to-wheel down the front straightaway as the green flag fell in the 30-lap race. Meyers, whose crew replaced the engine in the #7 VMAC Maxim before the qualifying session, took the lead with an inside move between the first and second corners. McMahan caught Meyers in turn three, but was unable to surge ahead.
DeCaires took the low line into the fourth corner to pass McMahan for second place the next time around, just seconds before Third Heat Race winner Johnny Gray spun in turn three. Danny Lasoski took the high line through the third corner to pass Tommy Tarlton and Andy Forsberg, but a collision involving Jim Skinner and First Heat Race winner Ryan Flynn brought out the caution flag and nullified the move.
McMahan and DeCaires exchanged second place during the second and third laps, before Lasoski took the high line around Forsberg in turn two for fifth place.
DeCaires won a front-stretch drag race with Meyers to take the lead early in lap six.
Gray's third-corner spin brought out the caution flag two laps later. Lasoski, the 2000 Gold Cup champion, took the low line through turn four to pass fast qualifier Sammy Swindell within a lap after the race resumed. Swindell, who won the Gold Cup in 1981, exchanged fourth place with "The Dude" twice in lap 10.
DeCaires was a straightaway ahead of Meyers when he entered lapped traffic three laps later. Flynn's turn-four spin tightened the field and opened the track ahead of the leaders late in the 14th lap.
McMahan beat Meyers down the back stretch to regain second place midway through the race. The leaders were approaching lapped traffic the next time around when Fourth Heat Race winner Garrett Ishi spun over the bank in the third corner.
McMahan drove the #11H Vivarin Maxim into the lead with a high move through turn two early in lap 20, only to have DeCaires pass him deep in the first corner one lap later.
Brian Paulus gave the leaders an opportunity to breathe when he spun in turn three late in lap 23. McMahan chased DeCaires for almost a full lap after the green flag replaced the yellow, then executed the winning pass high in the fourth corner.
McMahan caught the back-markers with a three-car-length advantage early in the final lap, and took the checkered flag with five car-lengths to spare.
Lasoski finished in third place, ahead of Meyers, Swindell, 14th-starting Jonathan Allard, Tim Kaeding, Brad Furr, Daryn Pittman and Jim Carter. Paulus drove P and P Motorsports' #28 Verdeilli Farms Maxim past eight cars during the final seven laps to claim 16th place.
Swindell paced the qualifying session with a 12.191-second lap around the high-banked, ¼-mile oval.