Earns third WoO STP Sprint Car Series win
ELIDA — Paul McMahan won an emotional World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory at Limaland Motorsports Park’s annual Brad Doty Classic Wednesday night after a pitched battle with 3-time champion Sammy Swindell that lasted much of the 40-lap feature.
McMahan, who earlier in the night talked about what Doty has meant to him as he developed as a driver and person through the years, said this win means a lot to him.
“I tell you what, it took me a little bit to collect my thoughts before I got out of this racecar because this just means the world to me,” McMahan said. “Brad Doty, like I said, is my hero and I’ve come here many times and never been able to get a win. It’s a normal win but this is the Brad Doty Classic. This takes every win I’ve ever won away and this is right up top.
“Man, I won the Brad Doty Classic… I can’t believe this, this is the greatest.”
Sammy Swindell started on the front row with Shane Stewart and dominated early. McMahan, who started in fourth, found his way around third place Kerry Madsen early and began working on Shane Stewart. The two battled in the opening laps with McMahan taking the second position by lap two.
Following a caution with two laps complete, Madsen drove his American Racing Custom Wheels car around Stewart and moved into the third position.
For the next thirty laps, Swindell and McMahan battled back and forth for the lead. Swindell ran high as McMahan tried both the low line and the high line, riding the cushion until it went away midway through the race. The two even traded position on lap 12 with McMahan taking over the lead briefly.
Farther back, Daryn Pittman was working his way forward in his Great Clips car after starting in the ninth position and Donny Schatz was doing the same after he was forced to use a provisional and started in the back. By lap 25, Pittman had moved to fifth while Schatz worked his way up to the ninth position.
With less than 10 to go, McMahan got the opportunity with his CJB Motorsports car he had been looking for to get around Swindell.
“I was following Sam and I was just kind of staying with him, I wasn’t getting nowhere,” McMahan recalled. “So I saw some lapped cars down there that were hard to lap and I just said, what the heck, I’ll give it a shot and the thing stuck and I just drove off.”
McMahan got around Swindell on the low side in the middle of turn one and two.
“I was a little nervous there at the end if I would get the lapped cars, whether I needed to be at the top or the bottom,” McMahan added. “But I know if I would have hesitated, Sammy would have pounced on me.”
With much of his family in attendance, McMahan scored his third win of the season and the 21st win of his career. He sits just 91 points out of the championship lead in third place.
Swindell fell back in the closing laps. He finished the race in seventh.
For second place finishing Madsen, this was his 22nd top-5 of the year and his fifth podium finish in a row.
“Great car, we had a good run,” Madsen said. “I felt like in the middle stages we had opportunities but the yellows would keep coming out. We had a great run. We had our chance - we didn’t take advantage of it but a great second place.
“It’s always an exciting race at Lima and I’m sure tonight was no different. I feel a little disappointed but we’re still really, really pleased with a second place run.”
Pittman, who closed out his night in third after advancing six positions from the start, credited his team, his car and a little positive thought for the success his team has had this season. He said tonight he just did not find the right line early enough.