Series Chico spotlight: Jason Meyers, Paul McMahan
California Connection: Jason Meyers & Paul McMahan Looks to Keep the Gold Cup in the Golden State Chico, CA-September 9, 2010- Since the World of Outlaws began sanctioning the Gold Cup Race of Champions in 1978, only two drivers from the state of ...
California Connection: Jason Meyers & Paul McMahan Looks to Keep the Gold Cup in the Golden State
Chico, CA-September 9, 2010- Since the World of Outlaws began sanctioning the Gold Cup Race of Champions in 1978, only two drivers from the state of California have won the famed event, with the most recent being Darrell Hanestad in 1989, while Johnny Anderson was victorious in the event in 1980. Jason Meyers and Paul McMahan, who both hail from the Golden State, look to change that this year and keep the Gold Cup in their home state as the World of Outlaws head to Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico for the 57th Annual running of the Gold Cup Race of Champion, September 9-11.
Jason Meyers has been victorious on preliminary nights each of the last two years at the Gold Cup. He finished a career-best third in the 40-lap finale last season. He paced the first 25 laps of the Gold Cup finale in 2008 after starting second, before contact ended his night on the 26th circuit. The native of Clovis, California has finished on the podium in four straight races at Silver Dollar Speedway dating back to the Mini Gold Cup last year and has been among the Top-Three in five of his last six starts at the always racy ¼-mile bullring aboard the GLR Investments KPC.
"Being from California it's certainly a race we want to put on our resume," shared Meyers. "The last two years we won our prelim night and two years ago we were leading the race and had it under control until we got together with a lapped car. It's a race that we want to win. We want to win them all, but that race holds a special kind of memento to us since we are from California."
McMahan attended the Gold Cup for the first time when he was five years old and raced in it for the first time in 1987 He won a preliminary feature at the Gold Cup in 2003 and finished a career-best third in the finale that same season. McMahan has seven Top-10 finishes in the main event at the Gold Cup. The veteran has 15 overall wins at Silver Dollar Speedway dating back to 1993, along with nearly 80 Top-10 finishes and over 50 Top-Five performances at the track in his career.
"It's the biggest race on the West Coast and the race that any kid growing up or that has raced in California wants to win," McMahan said. "I've been going to the Gold Cup since 1975 or '76, so to win that race would mean the world to me."
A new twist to the Gold Cup this year is the fact that every driver in attendance will compete on all three nights of the legendary event. The first two nights will be full racing events with time trials, heat races, a dash, and feature events, with event points being earned on each of the first two nights, which will be tallied and used to set the starting lineup-ups for the feature events on Saturday night which will culminate with the 40-lap $50,000 to win A-Feature event. Meyers enters the event third in the World of Outlaws championship standings, just 25 markers out of the lead as he chases his first series title.
"I think it will be really good for us with it being points each of the first two nights because we run well there," noted Meyers. "We're looking forward to the trip and the new format. You go there and you race hard every night and I think it will be even more challenging this year with the format. Chico is a place that you can get in trouble at really easily, so you have three nights to try to stay out of trouble, whereas you used to have two and kind of relax and enjoy the other night."
McMahan, who has been piloting the Great Clips Maxim for most of the year for Kasey Kahne Racing, as a substitute for the injured Cody Darrah, enters the Gold Cup sixth in the World of Outlaws championships standings on the strength of 39 Top-10 finishes with 23 of those being Top-Five performances, including a win at the famed Eldora Speedway back in May. He is currently tied with Meyers for the series lead in fast time honors in qualifying this season with nine.
"We've been close a couple of times to winning the Gold Cup and this year I have a pretty good race car and probably my best opportunity to win it that I have ever had," said McMahan. "We have a great team here at Kasey Kahne Racing and everyone works so hard day in and day out. It should be a great three days at Chico and I'm really looking forward to it and getting to see a lot of people I know down there."
Meyers raced at Silver Dollar Speedway for the first time in 1996 and has seven overall career wins at the ¼-mile along with over 40 Top-10 finishes. He has won a total of three times with the World of Outlaws at the track, including an A-Feature last season in the Mini Gold Cup. With the World of Outlaws events at Silver Dollar Speedway, he has racked up 17 Top-10 finishes with eighth of those being Top-Fives.
"Hopefully the new format adds to the event even more for the fans, because that's what we do this for," Meyers said. "We always enjoy going to Chico and it's always great to see a lot of people we know down there and people that have been following us and supporting us for a lot of years."
McMahan is looking forward to the new format as well this season and knows that each time he takes to the track will be of the utmost importance, with event points being earned in time trials, heat races and subsequent feature events on the each of the first two nights to help line up the feature events on the final night.
"It's neat for the fans to see all the drivers every night racing," noted McMahan. "In a sense it will be different racing all three nights and a new experience. It will certainly be a challenge racing everyone all three of the night and something we are looking forward to."
On Thursday, September 9 at Silver Dollar Speedway, tickets will be $40. Three-day tickets are available for $130. For tickets call (916) 969-7484.
On Friday, September 10 at Silver Dollar Speedway, tickets will be $40. Three-day tickets are available for $130. For tickets call (916) 969-7484.
On Saturday, September 11 at Silver Dollar Speedway, tickets will be $50. Three-day tickets are available for $130. For tickets call (916) 969-7484.
Series Chico Thursday event report 2010-09-09
Elite Racing Chico Friday summary