PEVELY, Mo. — Paul McMahan held off Kerry Madsen, rain delays and a two-hour delay to repair a catchfence to win Friday night’s Monroe Shocks & Struts Prelude to the Ironman at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
It was McMahan’s fourth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory of the season.
Rain fell early on in the day at I-55, but it was a bizarre wreck in the night’s second heat that delayed the feature into the early morning hours of Saturday. With two to go, a wreck involving then second-place running Cale Thomas, sent the young driver into the catch fence in the middle of turns one and two. A large portion of the fence was ripped out and racing action stopped as maintenance crews worked to repair the gap.
Two hours and a rain shower later, racing returned to the track and Kerry Madsen won the heat.
Thomas was OK and won the Last Chance Showdown and competed in the A main before being knocked out in another wreck early on.
The night though belonged to McMahan, who dominated the feature and held off Daryn Pittman and Madsen to win.
“First, I’ve got to thank all these fans for sticking around here because I know how late it is and I tell you what, I was one of the guys hoping they would cancel it — but thank God they didn’t tonight,” said McMahan, driver of the CJB Motorsports car. “Hats off to all the track maintenance guys that busted their butts and got that fence back together because when it first went down, I didn’t think we had a chance of racing tonight.”
As the green flag waved, Pittman took a quick lead as a caution flew before one lap could be completed. When the race returned to green, McMahan took over the lead position through the first few laps.
“Daryn actually got a better run off the bottom,” McMahan said. “I think he was just committed to running the bottom there on the first lap and I was able to power around the outside to get by.
“When you’re out front early in the race you really don’t know where you want to be. I just saw what he did there on the first two starts, what he did to me in the dash and was able to get the jump. I get to control the restart being the leader there so I took off a little early and got a good run up off the corner and was able to get to the top.”