Paul McMahan becomes an Outlaw and wins the Mini Gold Cup

Photo Credit: Shawn Miller for the World of Outlaws
There was a trophy on the line and a lot of prestige. It was the Mini Gold Cup at Chico. The big guns were in attendance and ready to compete - Kaeding, Stewart, Kinser, Schatz, Meyers, Swindell and Haudenschild. They weren’t there to play, they were there to win. But it would be the new kid on the block - sort to speak - that would take home the trophy, Paul McMahan declared himself an Outlaw tonight and then he took home the prize.

Silver Dollar Speedway was at her finest tonight. She was fast and she was just slick - enough to slide not slick enough to be a danger. She started out a little heavy and spongy for qualifying then she cleaned off really nice.

Qualifying was fast paced and telling. There would be no track record tonight but the track was picking up speed. First qualifier set Quick Time and it held through 43 other qualifiers. Kyle Hirst turned a fast lap of 11.685 seconds. He was followed by Daryn Pittman, Shane Golobic, Chad Kemenah and Andy Gregg. The fastest lap of the night would come later in the evening and be turned by Tony "The Rushville Rocket" Stewart in the Dash.

Heat Race winners were David Gravel (filling in for the injured Bill Rose), Cody Darrah, Tony Stewart and Paul McMahan. The heat races featured some very noteworthy performances by young Kyle Hirst who finished third in the first heat. He showed an incredible amount of car control to hold his line and maintain a transfer position even though he was pressured by team mate Tim Kaeding. In the second heat, Austen Wheatley battled with and won the final transfer spot from two-time World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers. Shane Golobic put on a whale of a show battling with Donny Schatz in the third heat. Golobic was making a rare winged sprint visit from his normal non wing USAC ride.

The C Main hosted some well known names to Outlaw fans such as Terry McCarl, Kerry Madsen and Sam Hafertepe Jr all starting in this race. Only two cars would transfer to the back of the B Main. Starting on the pole Rico Abreu served notice early that one of those cars would be his transferring to the next heat. Abreu lead all 10 laps with a commanding performance over second place finisher Terry McCarl. Finishing third was Kerry Madsen who choose not to take a provisional into the A Main, even though one was available to him.

The B Main started 14 cars with Abreu starting 13th. This race had big guns in it as well - Steve Kinser, Jac Haudenschild, Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers. Jac Haudenschild would climb as high as second before getting crossed up out of Turn 2 and losing four spots late in the race. Steve Kinser would charge into the top 5 and end up third in a transfer position. The final transfer spot would be captured by Rico Abreu. From the C Main to the A Main, Rico had proven why they call him the "Little Giant." Joey Saldana would take a provisional to get into the A Main. Haudenschild, who does not run the series full time, doesn't have a provisional and was not offered the promoter’s option as he does not regularly run at Chico. His night would end with a disappointing sixth place finish.

The Dash inversion draw revealed a six car inversion that put Paul McMahan on the pole and Tony Stewart on the outside front row. When the green flag dropped it was "The Rushville Rocket Show." Dominating the six lap dash, Stewart would run the fastest lap turned all night with a 11.024 second lap. His margin of victory was just over two seconds. With the first five rows of the A Main determined the field was set with Stewart starting on the pole in his first ever sprint car appearance at Silver Dollar Speedway.

The A Main was a 40-lap feature event for the Mini Gold Cup. Stewart jumped out to the lead but would lose it on Lap 8 to Paul McMahan who never relinquished it again. Stewart would hold second until David Gravel would took it away on the high side out of Turn 2 within four laps. Rico Abreu would advance to 13th before being involved in a roll over crash that ended his night. The same fate would be fall Donny Schatz while racing for fifth and Craig Dollansky while racing for ninth. Dollansky’s crash would set up a green-white-checkered finish. McMahan led them to the green and jumped out to the lead.

Chad Kemenah came from fifth to third and Stewart would get back around Gravel for second. Gravel would take the position back but in the process he was passed on the low side by Chad Kemenah for second. Coming out of Turn 4 for the checkered flag, Gravel would get up over the rear wheel of Kemenah sending him tumbling wildly down the front stretch - in second place, none the less. Stewart would weave his way through the melee to come home third. Kemenah would climb from the car unhurt and Gravel would end up in the sixth spot when it was all reviewed and tallied. The hard charger of the race was none other than the "King of the Outlaws" Steve Kinser who advanced 10 spots to finish 13th.

The Outlaws gained a new member tonight when Paul McMahan committed to competing in the series as a platinum driver, running the circuit full time. Paul McMahan got the Mini Gold Cup when he refused to see anything but victory even with the likes of Tony Stewart standing in the way. Stewart gained experience at a new track which is something that is hard to find for the 11-time National champion. The World of Outlaws said goodbye one final time to a young hero lost at Christmas - Stephen Allard. Most importantly, the fans got one of the best shows they have seen thus far this season.

Qualifying Results: 1) Kyle Hirst 11.865 2) Daryn Pittman 3) Shane Golobic. 4) Chad Kemenah 5) Andy Greg. 6) Sammy Swindell 7) Kraig Kinser 8) Jason Sides 9) Roger Crockett 10) Sean Becker. 11) Tony Stewart 12) Paul McMahan 13) David Gravel 14) Cody Darrah 15) Donny Schatz 16) Brian Brown 17) Tim Kaeding. 18) Austen Wheatley 19) Justin Sanders 20) Evan Suggs 21) Jason Statler 22) Chris Martin 23) Craig Dollansky 24) Jonthan Allard 25) Warren Johnson. 26) Jason Meyers 27) Jac Haudenschild. 28) Bud Walberg 29) Steve Kinser 30) Joey Saldana 31) Willie Croft 32) Bobby McMahan 33) Rico Abreu 34) Terry McCarl 35) Kerry Madsen. 36) Greg Wilson. 37) Sam Hafertepe. 38) Matt Mitchell 39) Pat Harvey Jr. 40) Carson Macedo 41) Sean McMahan 42) Nick Rescino (NT)

First Heat Results: 1) David Gravel 2) Roger Crockett 3) Kyle Hirst 4) Tim Kaeding 5) Andy Gregg 6) Jason Statler 7) Steve Kinser 8) Rico Abreu 9) Sam Hafertepe. 10) Sean McMahan 11) Warren Johnson.

Second Heat Results: 1) Cody Darrah 2) Daryn Pittman 3) Sean Becker 4) Sammy Swindell 5) Austen Wheatley 6) Jason Meyers 7) Terry McCarl 8) Joey Saldana 9) Chris Martin 10) Nick Rescino.

Third Heat Results: 1) Tony Stewart 2) Donny Schatz 3) Shane Golobic 4) Kraig Kinser 5) Craig Dollansky 6) Kerry Madsen 7) Willie Croft 8) Jac Haudenschild. 9) Pat Harvey Jr. 10) Justin Sanders.

Fourth Heat Results: 1) Paul McMahan 2) Brian Brown 3) Jason Sides 4) Chad Kemenah 5) Jonathan Allard 6) Evan Suggs 7) Bobby McMahan 8) Carson Macedo 9) Bud Walberg 10) Greg Wilson.

C Main Results: 1) Rico Abreu 2) Terry McCarl 3) Kerry Madsen 4) Carson Macedo 5) Sam Hafertepe. 6) Matt Mitchell 7) Greg Wilson 8) Sean McMahan 9) Nick Rescino 10) Pat Harvey.

Dash Results: 1) Tony Stewart 2) Paul McMahan 3) Shane Golobic. 4) Daryn Pittman 5) Roger Crockett 6) Donny Schatz 7) Kyle Hirst 8) David Gravel 9) Cody Darrah 10) Brian Brown.

LCS Results: 1) Jason Statler 2) Evan Suggs 3) Steve Kinser 4) Rico Abreu 5) Jason Meyers 6) Jac Haudenschild. 7) Chris Martin 8) Joey Saldana 9) Justin Sanders 10) Willie Croft 11) Bud Walberg 12) Bobby McMahan 13) Terry McCarl 14) Warren Johnson. (DNS)

A Main Results: 1) McMahan 2) Kemenah 3) Stewart 4) Golobic 5) Crockett 6) Gravel 7) Hirst 8) Kraig Kinser 9) Daryn Pittman 10) Tim Kaeding. 11) Sammy Swindell 12) Jason Statler 13) Steve Kinser 14) Cody Darrah 15) Evan Suggs 16) Austen Wheatley 17) Joey Saldana 18) Jason Sides 19) Donny Schatz 20) Craig Dollansky 21) Sean Becker 22) Andy Gregg 23) Jonthan Allard 24) Brian Brown 25) Rico Abreu.

Hard Charger Award: Steve Kinser +10 spots from 23rd to 13th.
Paul McMahan becomes an Outlaw and wins the Mini Gold Cup Paul McMahan becomes an Outlaw and wins the Mini Gold Cup Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, March 24, 2013 Rating: 5