CALVERT CITY, KY (May 8) - A week ago, Paul McMahan was the only driver ranking in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series top 10 without a top-five finish. The driver of the ...
CALVERT CITY, KY (May 8) - A week ago, Paul McMahan was the only driver ranking in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series top 10 without a top-five finish. The driver of the #11H Selma Shell Maxim has turned that around in a big way in the last two events.
McMahan, who raced into fourth place at Lawrenceburg Speedway Thursday, won his first "A" Feature of the season Saturday, leading all 35 laps in the Bluegrass Classic at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway. Ironically, McMahan won his first main event of the 2003 season last May 6th at Lawrenceburg Speedway in only his third feature race with the team.
The $10,000 victory, the fourth of McMahan's World of Outlaws Sprint Series career, pushed him into fourth place in the point standings. Eight drivers have combined to win the first 13 World of Outlaws Sprint Series main events in 2004.
McMahan, the ninth-fastest qualifier in the 32-car field, barely qualified for the "A" Feature in the First Heat Race. Brian Paulus passed him for fourth place when his right rear tire exploded as they headed to the checkered flag, but he held off Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate Erin Crocker for the final qualifying position. McMahan earned the privilege of starting the main event on the pole by winning the First Dash Race.
McMahan burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature, only to have Fourth Heat Race winner Brandon Wimmer spin in the second corner early in the opening lap. Paul won a front-straightaway drag race with outside pole-sitter Daryn Pittman to take the lead when green flag replaced the yellow.
Danny Lasoski was on the move following the restart, driving 2002 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle past Donny Schatz and Tim Shaffer during laps three and four to take over fourth place.
World of Outlaws Sprint Series points leader Steve Kinser and his son, Kraig, raced wheel-to-wheel while battling for seventh place early in the sixth lap. Kraig, who leads the Rookie of the Year race, drove the #11K Delco-Remy Maxim ahead of "The King of the Outlaws" in the low groove between the first and second corners.
McMahan was approaching lapped traffic the next time around when Brian Paulus spun in turn four. Mark Kinser surrendered ninth place when his crew replaced a flat right rear tire on the #5M Sabko Maxim, while rookie Brian Brown retired to the pit area.
As was the case following the first-lap restart, "The Dude" gained two positions soon after the green replaced the yellow. Lasoski took the low line through the first and second corners to pass Pittman and Joey Saldana for the runner-up spot early in the eighth lap. Shaffer raced around Pittman in the high groove between turns three and four to take over fourth place one lap later.
Kraig Kinser and Pittman exchanged fifth place three times during the next four laps. They took turns riding the rim around each other in turn four during the 10th and 11th laps, then Kraig took the low line into the fourth corner to reclaim the position late in lap 13.
McMahan was 15 car-lengths ahead of Lasoski when he entered lapped traffic three laps later. "The Dude" cut McMahan's advantage to 12 car-lengths by the 20th lap, however.
McMahan narrowly missed colliding with Wimmer, who spun in turn four, late in lap 21. Paul raced away from Lasoski when the race resumed, but fast qualifier Jonathan Allard stopped with a flat right rear tire one lap later.
McMahan controlled the final restart, and caught the back-markers with an eight-car-length advantage with four laps remaining. "The Dude" caught McMahan during the 34th lap, but was a car-length behind at the checkered flag. Lasoski closed to within 27 points of first place in the standings with his fourth straight finish in the top six.
Saldana finished in third place, ahead of Kraig Kinser, 13th-starting Jason Meyers, Pittman, Steve Kinser, Schatz, Kelly Kinser and Tim Kaeding. Kraig improved two positions to fifth place in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series point standings with his fourth top-five finish of the season.
Shaffer crossed the finish line in fourth place, but was credited with 25th when the #83 Beef Packers Eagle violated the World of Outlaws Sprint Series' 1,375-pound weight rule.
Brooke Tatnell drove the #66 Phillips 66 Trop Artic Eagle past 11 cars to finish in 12th place.
Crocker overcame engine problems to tie her best "A" Feature finish of the season. Her crew replaced the engine in the #16 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Maxim following the qualifying session. Erin was running third when her engine lost power early in the final lap of the "B" Feature, keeping her from qualifying for the main event. Erin used a provisional to start the "A" Feature, and raced into 14th place from the 13th row.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series will sanction the Freedom 40 at K-C Raceway Tuesday, then run $51,600 events at the Terre Haute Action Track and Tri-City Speedway Friday and Saturday.