By Bill Sullivan, Racing for the Troops
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – On a week that he had originally planned to take some time off, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan made a surprise visit to the North Bay Saturday night to compete at the Petaluma 3/8 mile oval on the Sonoma Marin County Fairgrounds. The result of the cameo appearance in the weekly All Pro sprint car series was the Racing for the Troops #26b sprint car in victory lane after the checkered flag on a very cold Saturday night.
“We weren’t planning on racing again until Memorial Day weekend down there,” said McMahan. “I decided to kind of lay low and go get some track time before next week. We ended up with out first win of the year and that’s pretty cool. This place is a fun track, I don’t get here too often.”
McMahan started the night off with success in qualifying as he turned the second quickest time of the night with a 13:329 second lap. He then went out and won his 8 lap heat race before preparing for the 25-lap feature.
A straight up inversion placed McMahan on the outside of the first row for the feature race next to fast qualifier and pole sitter Mike Benson of Calistoga. At the waving of the green flag both drivers raced hard into the first set of turns. As they entered the third turn, McMahan overtook Benson for the lead he would never relinquish for the remainder of the event.
“Mike made just a little mistake as we went into three and I was in the right place at the right time to capitalize on it,” said McMahan. “When he went into the turn the way he did I was able to get a run on him and get out in front. Once I was out there the car was perfect, the crew did a great job tonight.”
McMahan sliced and diced his way through lapped traffic in the event to distance himself for the win. The victory was McMahan’s first of the season and the first win of the year for the team since the passing of Steve Harris just before the 2010 season opened. Harris was the founder and owner of the Racing for the Troops team. McMahan and the team have been carrying out Harris’ wishes by continuing to field a number of competitive drivers including McMahan, Sean Becker and Kyle Harris who is recovering from non racing related injuries.
“This is for Steve,” added McMahan. “This is the first win we’ve had without him. He loved this sport and he provided us with great equipment and motivation. We miss him dearly, he was one of the kindest, most generous men I have ever known and this is for him. Hopefully we can come back here next week and do well again.”
McMahan will return to Petaluma Speedway this Friday night as the Golden State Challenge Series returns to the North Bay. On Saturday the team will then take to the competitive half mile Calistoga Speedway for two nights of racing in the King of California tour.
Steve Harris Racing and the Racing for the Troops sprint car team have a number of marketing partners for the 2010 racing season. Proud supporters of the team include World Environmental Energy Incorporated, C & H Service Disabled Veterans Enterprises, Benic Enterprises, Simpson Race Products Butler Built Seats, SS Racing, Art Enterprises, and Redline Oil.
The Racing for the Troops team is proud to honor military veterans and active duty service members. They carry the legacy started by the late Steve Harris by educating the public on the needs of those returning from war and supporting activities which provide resources to America’s active military, veterans and their families. You can learn more about the Racing for the Troops Sprint Car Team including its history and its mission by visiting their website at www.racingforthetroops.com.