THE COMFORTS OF HOME Tony Stewart Racing's McMahan Looking Forward to Tennessee Run INDIANAPOLIS (March 19, 2007) -- Picture this scenario. You've driven a thousand miles across the county and have barely slept. As the transporter rolls into the...
THE COMFORTS OF HOME
Tony Stewart Racing's McMahan Looking Forward to Tennessee Run
INDIANAPOLIS (March 19, 2007) -- Picture this scenario. You've driven a thousand miles across the county and have barely slept. As the transporter rolls into the racetrack, you know a full night of racing awaits you. Working through fatigue and driven by a desire to win, you dig deep to put forth a winning effort at that night's race. Before long, it's time to pack up and roll down the road in the darkness in order to make the next event on the schedule. Now imagine doing that ninety or more times a year.
Are you exhausted, yet?
For the four-man unit that comprises Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Series team, this isn't just a scenario. It's a description of a day in their lives. Driver Paul McMahan, Jimmy Carr, Steven Swenson and Michael Kuemper live, breathe, eat and sleep winged, sprint car racing. While the team faces trials and tribulations along the way, their desire to win keeps them a tight-knit unit.
"This life is like a marriage that is played inside the 10-foot cab of a truck," McMahan said. "It's not for everyone. These guys basically live their family lives through a cell phone. Like all marriages, we have our arguments, but for the most part, it's an extended family, as well. We're in this together and our team works well together. We all want to run well."
For McMahan, this weekend's event will extend a rare opportunity. A resident of Nashville, Tenn., McMahan will have the luxury of racing in his home state on March 24 as the WoO Sprint Series will make its first-ever appearance at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn. For McMahan, it's a once-a-year opportunity to have the support of his friends and neighbors as he takes to the track.
"I'm really excited to be racing so close to home this weekend," McMahan said. "My family and I have made many friends since we moved to Tennessee a few years ago. Some of them have never been to a sprint car race. We're looking forward to having many of them join us at Volunteer Speedway later this week. It will be a lot of fun and a great atmosphere for me, as I know many of them are planning a road trip up to Bulls Gap."
McMahan is also hoping that having some hometown backing will bring him some good luck. The last time his neighbors made an appearance at a race, the veteran parlayed the pressure of performing into a victory.
"My neighbors have proven to be good luck for me," McMahan said. "I had a neighbor my family had met in our first neighborhood in Tennessee that came to his first-ever sprint car race with my family. I ended up winning that night. I think we made a fan for life. He came to the same event the next year and I finished third. I'm hoping that with the friends and neighbors who will be coming up to Volunteer Speedway this week, I'll be able to find another good luck charm in the group."
The TSR team is also hoping to convert the traditionally NASCAR and late model Tennessee racing crowd over to the open-wheel side of the fence -- or at least expand their horizons as race fans.
"We know heading into the race that this facility is a predominantly and very successful late model series track," McMahan said. "We're looking forward to bringing another form of racing to this track, one that's always entertaining and extremely fast-paced. We're hoping that we'll be able to put on a great show for a new group of race fans. It would also be a great way to get our first win of the season and to be the first to put your name in the record books as having won an A-main at Volunteer Speedway. It would also be a great way to give Bass Pro Shops and Chevrolet their first victory of the year."