By Lee Elder
KNOXVILLE, Iowa, (Aug. 9, 2010) – Veteran sprint car racer Paul McMahan says things are different in winged sprint car racing this season and he knows why.
McMahan is currently sixth in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship standings and he appears to be on his way to a career season. He’s won a race and been among the top five finishers 20 times so far. He has been among the top qualifiers all season long. His best previous finish in the WoO standings is seventh.
So what is different this year? Ask McMahan.
“I think the Goodyear tires have put everything back in the hands of the drivers and crew chiefs and that’s a good thing,” he said “Everybody can buy the same parts now. The cars are pretty much the same.”
The tire package Goodyear has produced for winged sprint car racing this season has helped produce a change in the racing. Drivers are able to charge to the front.
That’s why McMahan feels he has a chance to win the 50th Goodyear Knoxville Nationals presented by Lucas Oil this year. Regardless of where he starts in the field, he knows to can get to the front.
“Definitely, everybody has a chance to win, especially with it (the A feature) being 50 laps,” he said.
Hosted by Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, the Goodyear Knoxville Nationals is the biggest event in sprint car racing every year. Every driver of a winged sprint car wants to win the race. It’s a career maker.
“If I were to win the Knoxville Nationals, no matter what else happened in my career, that would be the highlight,” said McMahan. “The only thing that could be as good would be if I won the Outlaws championship.”
The Goodyear Knoxville Nationals event is a stand-alone event and is not part of the World of Outlaws schedule. Drivers from every series imaginable come to Iowa each summer to take a swing at sprint car racing’s version of the Daytona 500. The event is four days long.
“I most definitely feel I have a chance to win the Knoxville Nationals…We’ve been in contention every night in July,” McMahan said.
As the title sponsor, Goodyear is part of the big event as both a supplier and a sponsor. The right rear tires sold at the event will have a special decal painted in the sidewall.
“Sprint car racing has been part of the fabric of Goodyear Racing for decades,” said Justin Fantozzi, Goodyear marketing manager. “Really, this is Marketing 101. The Goodyear Knoxville Nationals presented by Lucas Oil will attract a huge crowd, as it always has. We want every person in the grandstand to see the big, yellow lettering on the racing tires and think about that the next time they need to buy tires for their cars at home.”
McMahan drives cars owned by NASCAR star Kasey Kahne and McMahan credits the team for his quick start to the 2010 season. He stepped into the seat after driver Cody Darrah was injured in an automobile accident at the start of the season.
“It’s being with the right team,” McMahan said. “I started the season (with another team) just going to hit and miss (Outlaws races). Cody had his accident, unfortunately, and that opened up a seat at Kasey Kahne Racing.”
The team, McMahan said, immediately adjusted to the new Goodyear tires.
“We’ve adapted to the Goodyear tire package,” said Mahan. “I’ve run them in the past. I did a lot of the Goodyear tire testing in the past. I ran them in another series last year.”
A California native, McMahan lives in Nashville, Tenn. with his wife and children.
Goodyear is the exclusive rear tire supplier at Knoxville Raceway and for the World of Outlaws, the United Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear and others.
More information about Goodyear Racing is available at www.racegoodyear.com. More information about the 50th Goodyear Knoxville Nationals presented by Lucas Oil is available at www.knoxvilleraceway.com.