PORT ROYAL, PA – Mike Mahaney kicked off the Speed Showcase 200 with a bang as he picked up the opening night victory with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series presented by Sunoco victory at Port Royal Speedway Saturday night.
The win was worth $5500 and was Mahaney’s first career triumph at the Juniata County oval. It was also Mahaney’s first career victory with the modified series and he did it behind the helm of a brand new racecar.
“This win has been long overdue and It’s just really special to get it down here at Port Royal,” said Mahaney. “I think we’ve got a car capable of winning the big money here on Saturday and this is quite the way to start things out this weekend and I’m just really pumped.”
Ryan Godown and Sammy Martz led the field of 31 cars to the green flag and it was Godown getting the quick jump on the field. Maheny started fourth on the grid and was rounding out the podium at the completion of lap one.
Godown opened up a sizeable lead over his competitors during the opening laps, while Mat Williamson was on the move early as he moved into the fourth position on lap six from his fifth starting spot.
Tenth-place starter Billy Pauch Jr. was also making waves early as he cracked the top five two laps later, while 21st-place starter Stewart Friesen moved himself into a top-ten position on lap 11.
Godown caught the end of the field on lap 12 and one lap later Mahaney slipped by him for the top spot to lead lap 13. However, the caution flew before another lap could be completed when a car slowed on the backstretch.
With the series utilizing double-file restarts, Mahaney chose the bottom for the return to green and the move almost proved to be a mistake as Godown used a head of steam down the backstretch to take back the lead entering turn three. However, Mahaney was not ready to give in and he slid back under Godown for the lead by mere inches at the line.
The move proved to be important when the caution flew the following lap when Dominick Buffalino came to a slow on the frontstretch and thwarted another passing opportunity for Godown.
“Godown is tough to beat and the top was just so good out there,” said Mahaney. “I knew I had to get in front of him as he was kind of using me up there on the starts and I didn’t really like that.”
This time Mahaney took the high side for the restart and Godown was not nearly as fast on the bottom entering turn’s one and two to allow Mahaney to lead comfortably. Meanwhile, Friesen continued his march to the front as he moved into the seventh position with 25 laps remaining.
Seventh-place starter Alex Yankowski used the middle of the speedway to move into fourth two laps later, but otherwise the leaders started to stretch out on track. They again hit lapped traffic with 15 laps remaining and Godown was within striking distance of Mahaney.
He was closing to the tail end of Mahaney’s No. 35 machine when Friesen’s miracle march to the front ended on the front stretch as he came to a slow exiting turn four to bring out the final caution of the event.
Mahaney checked out on the restart, but it was the fireworks behind him that had the crowd on their feet. Williamson saw a hole to get by Godown for second and the two cars made contact coming to the flagstand. Williamson got the spot, but a clearly frustrated Godown didn’t back down and the two nearly made contact again on the backstetch.
Godown briefly regained the runner-up spot with 12 laps remaining, but Williamson again got back by to claim the position for good. Meanwhile, the battling behind him allowed Mahaney the breathing room he needed and he was in cruise control.
He approached lapped traffic coming to the white flag, however it was a case of too little, too late for the field as he took the checkered flag over Williamson by a margin of 1.942 seconds to claim the preliminary night victory.
Godown, Yankowski and Ryan Watt rounded out the top five while Pauch Jr., Anthony Perrego , Andy Bachetti, Craig VanDohren and Larry Wight completed the top ten.
“This is awesome! Port Royal is one of my favorite tracks and the track was just perfect,” said Mahaney. “I’m really happy to get this win. My guys have been killing it in the shop to get this car ready and I just can’t say enough about the effort.”
Williamson and Godown exchanged words on the frontstretch following the race and the two briefly tussled before being broken up by track and series officials. Godown also showed his displeasure with Williamson coming to the scales when he got into the rear bumper of him too.
“Mike just had a great restart and Godown didn’t really fire and I went to the bottom,” said Williamson. “I’m hugging the wall and he’s pinching me down farther as he’d going backwards at that point. It’s just a shame that we have to go through a rear bumper after the race and he’s mad at me for doing the same thing he does to people at Bridgeport.”
Godown was clearly frustrated with the contact, but said it wasn’t the reason he lost the race.
“It’s just plain spoiled brat and daddy’s money at play,” said Godown. “At that point I had already lost the race as I went to the bottom, but still it’s a shame. We didn’t really talk about anything, but I just pushed him out of the way. If he wants to race like that, we’ve got 200 laps on Saturday and we’ll race that way.”
SPEED SHOWCASE 40 RESULTS SUMMARY – PORT ROYAL SPEEDWAY OCTOBER 14, 2021
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Velocita-USA South Region Presented By Design for Vision & Sunglass Central Round No. 8 Feature Finish (40 laps): MIKE MAHANEY, Mat Williamson, Ryan Godown, Alex Yankowski, Ryan Watt, Billy Pauch Jr., Anthony Perrego, Andy Bachetti, Craig Von Dohren, Larry Wight, Matt Sheppard, Joseph Watson, Brandon Grosso, Peter Britten, Alan Johnson, Brett Haas, Mike Gular, Dominick Buffalino, Jared Umbenhauer, Ryan Susice, Jeff Strunk, Dillon Steuer, Sammy Martz, Stewart Friesen, Billy Decker, David Van Horn, Tyler Dippel, Max McLaughlin, Justin Wright, Duane Howard, Mike Maresca
Did Not Qualify: Jessica Friesen, Rocky Warner, Tim Fuller, Ronnie Johnson, Jacob Dgien, Matt Stangle, Ryan Riddle, Danny Hieber, Rusty Smith, Matt Smith, Addison Bowman, Joe Judge, Frank Cozze, Erick Rudolph, Jack Lehner, David Schilling, Justin Haers, J.R. Heffner, John Willman, Rick Laubach, Scott Hitchens, Jimmy Horton.
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): Billy Pauch Jr. (sixth) & Peter Britten (14th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Alex Yankowski (fourth) & Craig Von Dohren (ninth)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Redraw Bonus ($100 Gift Cards): Mat Williamson, Andy Bachetti, Billy Pauch, Jr., Sammy Martz, Ryan Watt, Mike Mahaney, David Van Horn, Ryan Godown, Alex Yankowski, Justin Wright
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Top-Five Bonuses ($500 Each): Mike Mahaney (first), Mat Williamson (second), Ryan Godown (third), Alex Yankowski (fourth), Ryan Watt (fifth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Billy Pauch Jr. (Redrew 10th)
Bill Brown & Company Heat-Race Hard Charger ($50): Ryan Watt (seventh to first)
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader Award ($200): Mike Mahaney
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Winner’s Award (Oakley Sunglasses): Mike Mahaney
FloRacing Heat Winner Bonuses ($50 Each): Mat Williamson, Andy Bachetti, Billy Pauch, Jr., Sammy Martz & Ryan Watt
Henry’s Exhaust System Power Position ($50 Certificate): Matt Sheppard (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Mike Mahaney (winner – $150 certificate); Mat Williamson (second – $75 certificate); Ryan Godown (third – $50 certificate); Larry Wight (10th – $25 certificate)
Spyder Performance Filters Bonuses: Ryan Watt (fifth – FREE Filter); Alan Johnson (15th – 50-percent off certificate)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Mat Williamson (second), Joseph Watson (12th) & Dillon Steuer (22nd)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Award ($75 Certificate): Anthony Perrego (seventh)