PORT ROYAL, Pa. – If it wasn’t clear prior to Thursday night at Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway, Mike Mahaney is on a late-season roll.
The last 10 days for Mahaney have included four straight podiums, one 10th-place finish and a third-place run, the latest of which was earned during the Short Track Super Series-sanctioned Speed Showcase 40 at the half-mile Port Royal dirt track.
Needless to say, the Kings Ferry, N.Y., driver has been the model of consistency late in the season.
The only thing that stopped Mahaney’s podium streak last week during DIRTcar OktoberFAST was an illegal bump stop at Weedsport Speedway after his heat race on Sunday. If not for that, it’s possible he’d be riding a string of six podiums in a row.
“We are really on a roll,” Mahaney said. “Like most people know by now, the only thing that held us back from continuing that podium streak was a bump stop … which is no longer on the car. It’s the same car we ran last week, minus the bump stop is all.”
To get a podium finish at one of the premier tracks in the country for dirt racing was an accomplishment, and something Mahaney relished on Thursday night.
“It feels great,” Mahaney said. “What a place to have a big race. This (Port Royal) is an awesome track, it’s beautiful. There’s multiple grooves, and it’s great to race on, I don’t know what else to say, you have to be here to see it.”
Despite his Thursday performance, when it comes to the 200-lap finale scheduled on Saturday night, there’s some concern for Mahaney and his crew.
“Well this morning I was a little worried,” he said. “By my calculations, we won’t make 100 laps on fuel with a big block here, which is going to be challenging. We are going to have to rethink our strategy for the 200.
“Tire and setup wise we are fast and I think we can compete with it, but it’s going to take a lot of factors to win the $53,000 payday. Hopefully we can have a shot at it.”