Deer Creek Win Makes It Five This Season for Paul McMahan
This was McMahans first career World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win at Deer Creek Speedway
SPRING VALLEY, Minn. – Sept. 13, 2014 – Cold temperatures might have hung over Deer Creek Speedway Saturday night for the ASGROW/DEKALB Clash at the Creek, but the action on track was hot, as Paul McMahan battled through lapped track and held off David Gravel to score his fifth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory of the season.
“I’ll tell you what, (my crew chief) Barry Jackson and everyone else with the CJB Motorsports car gave me a great car tonight. I was a little concerned starting on the bottom there on the original start and was able to slide up in front of David there,” McMahan said.
McMahan started on the pole with Gravel in second. As the green flag fell on the feature, the two battled for the lead. As they dove into turn one, Gravel and McMahan made contact.
“He had a big run there and got into the back of me a little bit but it’s just hard racing that we’re doing out here,” McMahan said.
The two drivers drag raced down the backstretch with the advantage to McMahan as they entered three and four. Gravel dove low as McMahan took the middle and when they hit the front stretch, Gravel did a wheelie and McMahan led the first lap.
Just as the field completed the first lap a wreck involving Davey Heskin left the driver on his roof on the exit of turn two. He was Ok.
When they returned to green, McMahan chose the outside for the restart, something he would do again following cautions on laps 19 and 32.
“I tried to use the top as my advantage,” McMahan said. “I tried to roll down the hill a little bit and I can control the restarts there being the leader. David was trying to run me up the race track and keep me in the dirty stuff so I just kind of let him go out in front of me and as soon as he got in front of me I took off and left him sitting there.”
McMahan hit lapped traffic on lap eight and spent much of night battling through it. “You never know how far out in front you are. I was having a hard time getting through lapped cars because it was tough and the track got real slick. I was good through the middle but I would blow the tires off on exit.”
Gravel, who set a new track record of 11.416 in scoring his 10th quick time of the season earlier in the night, worked on different lines throughout the feature. As the field fought its way through lapped traffic in the closing laps, Gravel closed the gap on McMahan.
“It was really good on the bottom of three and four,” Gravel said. “The car stayed pretty consistent the whole time. I was good on the bottom or the top – it didn’t really matter where I ran.”
Then, on lap 32, the right rear tire of Joey Saldana, who was running third at the time and threatening Gravel’s second place perch, shredded as the driver hit the front stretch. A subsequent caution eliminated McMahan’s lead and gave Gravel one last shot at it as Kerry Madsen, now in third, and Craig Dollansky in fourth looked to make moves.
McMahan held the lead on the single file restart and cruised to his fifth win of the season with Gravel in second, Madsen in third and Dollansky in fourth. He maintains his third place position in the championship points standings, 293 out of the lead.
In victory lane, McMahan thanked his CJB Motorsports team owners Chad and Jenn Clemens for their support of him and the team.
Gravel, who ultimately came home second, almost did not make it in his Roth Motorsports car.
“After that last caution the car acted really funny,” Gravel said. “I wish the green flag would have kept going there but to finish in second with a hole in the right rear, I’m glad it wasn’t 40 laps.”
Madsen, who battled forward from a 10th place starting position in his American Racing Custom Wheels car, held off Dollansky in the closing laps to finish on the podium.
“The track was extremely tricky though because you really wanted to be aggressive on the entry of the corner but every time you did, you would find a hole you couldn’t see,” Madsen said. “The track was really exciting. There were a couple of grooves around, like the middle of four. There was plenty of stuff to hit your marks and we had a pretty exciting race… Couldn’t be more happy with the team.”
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series heads to Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway on Sept. 16 to make up a rainout from earlier this season. The series then heads to the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track on Sept. 17.