Mahaney Notches First Short Track Super Series Victory – DTD Exclusive

Speed Showcase 40 - Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series fueled By Sunoco Velocita-USA presented by Design for Vision and Sunglass Central - Behrent’s Performance Warehouse ‘Preliminary Night’ - Port Royal Speedway - 35 Mike Mahaney

By KEN BRUCE

In just over a month, Mike Mahaney has captured those two special wins that have eluded him for many years. Back on September 25th, Mahaney went to victory lane at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway to capture his first ever Super DIRTcar Series win leaving only a Short Track Super Series win to complete his goal to win in both Modified touring series. 

Mahaney accomplished that goal Thursday as stormed to victory at Port Royal Speedway in the Speed Showcase 40 STSS race. 

“This feels great, it is awesome to win on of the races,” cited a very happy Mahaney standing next to his winning car afterwards. “It is hard to win in either of the series, it is not easy by any means. I am very thankful for this opportunity I have been given and the car is so good. We’ve worked on this car for over a year.”

The original plan for Mahaney was to bring this new car out for Super DIRT Week, but with the condition of the track they decided to wait and bring it out for Port Royal.




“This car was meant to come out for Super DIRT Week last year, but of course we all know that didn’t happen,” explained Mahaney. “So we decided to bring it out this year at SDW, but the track wasn’t that nice, so we didn’t get it out and saved it for here. Port Royal is such a beautiful track and it’s a good fit for a nice new race car like this.”

Mahaney started the main-event in the fourth place and immediately got past Ryan Watt and Sam Martz to move into second and started chasing down leader Ryan Godown. It didn’t take long for Mahaney to catch Godown, and when the leaders caught the tail end of the field, Godown went low and Mahaney kept it up top and went around Godown to take the lead. 

“I think Ryan (Godown) was faster than me in the beginning there when the track had a little more bite in it,” Mahaney explained about his winning pass. “I was a little tight there in the opening laps, but then the track came to me. It got a little slicker and my car started getting better there at the end. It is tough for the leader when you start getting into lapped traffic, most times it is better to be in the catbirds seat like I was tonight so you can see where to go.”

The first caution after Mahaney took the lead led to Mahaney taking the inside on the restart which almost proved costly to the Elizabethtown, N.Y., driver.

“I thought by choosing the bottom that I could get some bite coming off turn four,” explained Mahaney. “Instead, we kind of had a dead heat with Ryan coming down the front and going into the corner he was able to get back around me, but I was able to slide back by him. After that I realized I didn’t really want to race him like that, so I started choosing the top.  By picking the outside I was able to hold the top and keep my position and it was much more comfortable for me to be able to carry the momentum going into turn one.”

Mahaney’s win didn’t come without issues as the temperature of the motor in the No. 35 was running hot, but everything held together for Mahaney to get the win in the 40-lap feature, but they will have to find the issue to be able to run 200 laps on Saturday.

“We have a great motor in this car put together by Finger Lakes Machine and it was nice to get a win tonight for Doug who is retiring after this year,” mentioned Mahaney. “It’s pretty special that we got a win in two of his big-blocks that he built. He has done a lot for me over the years and has built some really competitive engines and ones that last. This engine ran warm today and we worked on it all night to try to get it to cool down.  We just couldn’t get it figured out, but at least it made it through the night and didn’t burn a piston or something. It would’ve been heartbreaking if something would’ve happened there at the end.”

Saturday’s race is 200 laps, and by virtue of his win tonight, Mahaney is locked into the main-event. The only question is with the engine issues they had tonight will Mahaney be able to use the same car and motor for the big race.

“This car is so good that we really hope to be able to run the same car and motor,” said Mahaney. “We have tonight and tomorrow to make a decision on that, but hopefully we can figure out what is wrong with it and causing it to run hot. We really haven’t had time to get into the issue tonight. We got here late because we only had three days to prepare after DIRT week. We ran hot laps and the motor started running hot, so we came in and we cannot really work on it because it is so hot that we can’t do anything. I burnt my hands looking at it and trying to see what the issue was. We just didn’t have time tonight to dig deep into it and for it to hold together and winning tonight was unbelievable because usually nights like we had tonight don’t end well.”

If you have any questions or comments. I can be reached at dirtracefan25@hotmail.com or on Twitter @dirtracefan25.