McMahan Races to Victory at Tri-City Speedway By Richard Day GRANITE CITY, IL (June 22) – Paul McMahan started too quickly in the First Dash Race and slowly in the "A" Feature, but eventually won Sunday’s O’Reilly World of Outlaws Series main event at Tri-City Speedway. McMahan raced past Brian Paulus for the lead late in lap 13 and held off Joey Saldana for the $10,000 victory. McMahan’s second victory of the season pushed him into ninth place in the O’Reilly World of Outlaws Series point standings. The rain-delayed race was originally scheduled for May 10th.
"I didn’t really get the start I wanted," McMahan said. "I was a little bit early in the dash, and (series Director of Competition) Bobby (Jackson) warned me that he wanted a better start in the ‘A,’ so I was pretty careful. Brian got rolling around the top pretty good. I was just following him, and I found the bottom pretty good in (turns) one and two. Then I got a run on him down the back stretch, and when I went into (turn) three, it stuck better than I could have hoped, and we were able to hang on from there."
McMahan, the seventh-fastest qualifier in the 28-car field, earned the privilege of starting the 30-lap main event on the pole by winning his seventh Dash Race of the season. Paulus, who started outside the front row, raced wheel-to-wheel with McMahan down the front straightaway as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature, and took the lead high in the second corner.
Saldana, who started inside the fourth row, passed Shane Stewart for sixth place with an inside move between turns one and two early in the second lap. Saldana and Stevie Smith raced past Kraig Kinser three laps later when the #11K Delco-Remy International Maxim hit the wall in the fourth corner. Paulus, who has also led two other "A" Features during the O’Reilly World of Outlaws Series’ 25th Anniversary Season, was six car-lengths ahead of McMahan when he entered lapped traffic six laps into the race.
Steve Kinser, who has won 22 main events at Tri-City Speedway, tried to pass McMahan in the high groove between turns three and four late in the eighth lap, but was unable to surge ahead. Kinser raced nose-to-tail with Paulus and McMahan throughout the 11th lap. McMahan drove the #11H Vivarin Maxim past Paulus on the back straightaway to take the lead two laps later. "The King of the Outlaws" and Saldana passed Paulus during the next two laps. Kinser threatened to take the lead early in the 16th lap, but McMahan increased his advantage when "The King of the Outlaws" slowed behind Jim Moughan between turns one and two.
Saldana steered his family’s #17 Eagle Raceway Maxim deep in the second corner to pass Kinser for the runner-up spot two laps later. Donny Schatz, who raced past eight cars during the first 16 laps, drove his #15 Parker Stores J&J past Kinser in the low groove between turns one and two to claim third place early in the 21st lap. McMahan opened a full straightaway lead during the 24th lap, but lost his advantage when Blake Feese collided with Jason Johnson and hit the retaining wall on the front stretch with three laps remaining. McMahan controlled the restart, however, and took the checkered flag with a straightaway to spare.
Schatz almost passed Saldana for second place with a high move through turn four as they headed to the finish line. "I looked at the scoreboard when that caution came out, and I saw Joey and Donny behind me," McMahan said. "That’s not what you want to see with three laps left. They’ve both been running pretty good lately. The caution did give us an open track, and that was good for us. I’ve won a Gumout race here and now an Outlaw show, and I hope we come back and I can win some more here. "This should make for a pretty good ride tonight (on the way to Farmer City Raceway). I’ve been riding around with Joey the past couple of weeks, but I think tonight he might make me give him some gas money. I have to thank my crew – ‘Scuba’ (Steve Swenson), Chris (Strait), and Kyle (Myers) – and Selma Shell, Vivarin, Goody’s Headache Powders, VRP Shocks, Hoosier Tires, Charlie Garrett Engines, and all the fans for coming out tonight."
Schatz finished in third place, ahead of Kinser, O’Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski, Kraig Kinser, Smith, Sammy Swindell, 15th-starting Jason Sides and Daryn Pittman. Johnson drove past 10 cars to finish 11th. Swindell’s son, Kevin, won the micro-sprint support race. Randy Hannagan, competing with the O’Reilly World of Outlaws Series for the first time in three weeks, raced into 14th place from outside the 10th row.
Jason Meyers, who had driven the #7 VMAC Maxim into the top 11 in the last nine main events, was scheduled to start outside the seventh row. Karavan Motorsports’ crew was unable to repair the car’s ignition problems, so alternate Adam West took Meyer’s place at the back of the pack in the "A" Feature. Lasoski set quick time for the 15th time this season, circling the semi-banked, ½-mile oval in 16.777 seconds, an average speed of 107.290 M.P.H. The O’Reilly World of Outlaws Series will sanction the 20th Annual Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway Friday and Saturday.
2003 O’Reilly World of Outlaws Series Tri-City Speedway, Granite City, IL Sunday, June 22, Feature Program #32
Qualifying: 1. Danny Lasoski, Stewart 20, 16.777; 2. Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 16.854; 3. Kraig Kinser, Kinser 11K, 16.890; 4. Sammy Swindell, Roth 83, 16.941; 5. Shane Stewart, Chilcutt 4M, 16.946; 6. Brian Paulus, P and P Motorsports 28, 17.052; 7. Paul McMahan, Helm 11H, 17.079; 8. Stevie Smith, Smith 19, 17.086; 9. Joey Saldana, Saldana 17, 17.113; 10. Blake Feese, Ritchart 3F, 17.132; 11. Daryn Pittman, Sher-Don Motorsports 21, 17.152; 12. Jason Meyers, Karavan Motorsports 7, 17.173; 13. Jason Sides, Sides Motorsports 7S, 17.300; 14. Danny Smith, Smith 4, 17.337; 15. Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 17.337; 16. Ricky Logan, Gifford 17G, 17.341; 17. Johnny Herrera, Wilburn 2W, 17.385; 18. Bob Bennett, Acme Trailers 3, 17.390; 19. Jeremy Campbell, Campbell 10C, 17.410; 20. Curt Trainer, Trainer 36, 17.532; 21. Jim Moughan, Moughan 1M, 17.565; 22. Jason Johnson, Harrison 22, 17.617; 23. Randy Hannagan, TH Racing 1X, 17.632; 24. Tommy Worley, Jr., Worley 97, 17.730; 25. Tom Busch, Busch 4B, 17.842; 26. Brian Carlson, Carlson 18, 17.881; 27. Adam West, Trostle 20A, 18.674; 28. Wayne Barnes, Barnes 86, 19.413.
First Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Jason Sides, 2. Jason Meyers ($200); 3. Danny Lasoski, 4. Paul McMahan, 5. Jason Johnson, 6. Brian Paulus, 7. Bob Bennett, 8. Jeremy Campbell, 9. Tom Busch, 10. Wayne Barnes. (first six qualified for the "A" Feature)
Second Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Johnny Herrera, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Steve Kinser, 4. Shane Stewart, 5. Daryn Pittman, 6. Randy Hannagan, 7. Danny Smith, 8. Brian Carlson, 9. Curt Trainer. (first six qualified for the "A" Feature)
Third Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Donny Schatz, 2. Joey Saldana, 3. Blake Feese, 4. Kraig Kinser, 5. Sammy Swindell, 6. Jim Moughan, 7. Tommy Worley, Jr., 8. Adam West, 9. Ricky Logan. (first six qualified for the "A" Feature)
First Dash Race (five laps): 1. Paul McMahan, 2. Shane Stewart, 3. Kraig Kinser, 4. Joey Saldana, 5. Danny Lasoski, 6. Daryn Pittman, 7. Johnny Herrera, 8. Jason Sides. (finish determined the inside starting positions in the first eight rows in the "A" Feature lineup)
Second Dash Race (five laps): 1. Brian Paulus, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Steve Kinser, 4. Blake Feese, 5. Sammy Swindell, 6. Donny Schatz, 7. Jason Meyers, 8. Jim Moughan. (finish determined the outside starting positions in the first eight rows in the "A" Feature lineup)
B Feature (10 laps): 1. Ricky Logan, 2. Jeremy Campbell, 3. Danny Smith, 4. Bob Bennett, 5. Brian Carlson, 6. Tom Busch, 7. Adam West, 8. Wayne Barnes ($180); 9. Curt Trainer ($150); 10. Tommy Worley, Jr. ($120). (first six qualified for the "A" Feature)
A Feature (30 laps): 1. Paul McMahan  ($10,000); 2. Joey Saldana  ($5,500); 3. Donny Schatz  ($3,200); 4. Steve Kinser  ($2,800); 5. Danny Lasoski  ($2,500); 6. Kraig Kinser  ($2,300); 7. Stevie Smith  ($2,200); 8. Sammy Swindell  ($2,100); 9. Jason Sides  ($2,050); 10. Daryn Pittman  ($2,000); 11. Jason Johnson  ($1,500); 12. Brian Paulus  ($1,200); 13. Shane Stewart  ($1,100); 14. Randy Hannagan  ($1,050); 15. Danny Smith  ($1,020); 16. Jeremy Campbell  ($920); 17. Johnny Herrera  ($800); 18. Jim Moughan  ($800); 19. Blake Feese  ($800); 20. Adam West  ($820); 21. Ricky Logan  ($820); 22. Brian Carlson  ($820); 23. Tom Busch  ($820); 24. Bob Bennett  ($820). DNS: Jason Meyers; replaced by Adam West
Lap leaders: Brian Paulus 1-12, Paul McMahan 13-30 WoO