By Don Simpson
Recently, I covered Team 35 of Mike Mahaney at Georgetown Speedway for the Short Track Super Series “Blast at the Beach” in Delaware. Although it was a 12-hour drive to get there, my co-driver, long-time race photographer, and best friend, Rick Young, and I decided to go.
For Team 35 of Mike Mahaney, the 2021 Short Track Super Series South Region Champion, Mike is once again battling for top points in the Series Southern region. I arrived at Georgetown the night before the race, and despite the hot, rainy weather, I was confident that the crew would be up for the challenge of preparing the track the next day.
Early in the morning of race day, I traveled over to see the speedway’s crew working tirelessly to prepare the 74-year-old history track for that night. However, the track’s condition would play a significant role in the night’s outcome due to the previous night’s continuous rain. My question to Brett Deyo was whether or not the weather would play a role in that night’s race.
Brett explained, “Yes, the weather forecast is iffy for both today and tomorrow. We had a lot of rain last night, and our crew has been hard at it preparing the track since early this morning. After looking at the forecast, we decided to press ahead for today as the weather is looking somewhat more positive late this afternoon compared to tomorrow, and if things stay dry today, I think the track crew can give all the teams a good track for the race. “
For Team 35’s Mike Mahaney, Georgetown Speedway was a tough night of racing. There is no getting around that fact. But all teams endure nights like these, where things just do not fall into place.
The night’s race started well for Mike, as he had a good first draw, for his heat racing, and he finished third to advance to the feature.
Mike explained, “We started the night off well with a good heat race draw, plus the fact that we finished well in that race with third place. This gave us a guaranteed spot for the feature draw.”
But things began to unravel as Mike not only had to battle against the competition but also the track conditions. The weather would also play a factor against the team, as it was extremely hot and humid that night, which wore down the entire team.
As the track conditions continued to deteriorate over the night due to all the moisture within the track, getting that perfect set-up would take a bit of lady luck on any team’s side.
On the final redraw, it was not to be for Mike as he drew the 12th starting position for the 35-lap feature.
The night’s race took center stage as the main event began. Despite starting in the middle of the field and having to make some difficult setup decisions before the race, Mike accelerated aggressively once the green flag was raised. At first, everything seemed to be going well, but as the laps piled up, the track quickly deteriorated, which left Mike battling just to hold his position.
With an 11th-place finish, it was a disappointing night of racing for Mike and the crew.
Mike explained, “It wasn’t our night; it’s as simple as that. We could have made better decisions on set-up, but it was a tough track to race on. The crew worked hard to prepare the track given all the rain, and I think the important part was that fans were given a good show.”
Despite all of this, the team is still in third place within the South Short Track Super Series points. Like all teams chasing gremlins, the team will assess, regroup, and move on.
Remaining Southern Region Series
Sunday, September 24—Bridgeport Motorsports Park/Bridgeport, N.J.—60 Over Special honoring Doug Hoffman—60 laps, $6,060 to win!
Thursday, October 12—Port Royal Speedway/Port Royal, Pa.—Speed Showcase: 40 laps, $5,000 to win, $500 to start!
Friday, Saturday, October 13–14—Port Royal Speedway/Port Royal, Pa.—Speed Showcase 75-75 laps, $50,000 to win, $1,000 to start! – ELITE Event – CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS for Elite Series
Friday, Saturday, October 27–28—Georgetown Speedway/Georgetown, Del.—Mid-Atlantic Championship Weekend—40 laps, $7,000 to win, $500 to start! – CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS for South Region
With four races remaining in the series schedule, it is still anyone’s championship to win. Mike said, “For us, Georgetown was just not our night, but at least we walked away unscathed and are still holding third place in the series. Next up, we move on to Bridgeport and then on to one of my favorite tracks, Port Royal. I always look forward to the race at Port Royal. There is just something special about the place. The one race we were not expecting was the rescheduled race back in Georgetown. We will have to look over our setup carefully for this race and go out and do our best to hopefully prevail next time.”