Column By: DYLAN FRIEBEL / RPW – MALTA, NY – While Jessey Mueller may have won the battle on Friday night in Malta, New York. It was the driver from Kings Ferry, NY, Mike Mahaney is the one who turned heads. The driver out of the George Huttig camp sure was the star of the show.
When the green flag dropped on the 35-lap main event feature, Mahaney was starting 5th and wasted barely any time getting to the lead. Around the lap 3 to 4 mark. While he searched the track for grip that everybody seemed to be struggling with, he found the bottom lane to be his go to choice.
Mahaney masterfully nailed restart after restart with the best the Saratoga County oval had to offer bearing down his back. When the second place car of Neil Stratton spun out in turns one and two with 8 laps to go it put Mueller on his heels and he wasted no time in getting around Mahaney only a handful of laps later.
“The last three races we have run here there has not been any cautions.” Mahaney said. “We were not prepared for all these restarts at the end and it did not help that a lap car ran over me. I’ve just never seen her before.”
While Mahaney is no stranger to a big block, he is a stranger to Albany-Saratoga Speedway
“Big Improvement from our first week here” He said. “We have to be happy about that and we lead some laps and had a very fast race car up until the last laps. This is only my seventh start here at Malta, it’s a great field here. Lack of experience has hurt my finishes here, tonight we got better.”
To everyone’s surprise, Albany-Saratoga Speedway will be where Mahaney calls home for 2019 on Friday Nights.
“We planned to be here all along.” He said. “We just did not know if we would have enough equipment to run here and the series and as long as our equipment holds together we will continue to run here. We had a good finish tonight and we could not be happier.”
With the already stout field, the young gun Mike Mahaney just proves why Albany-Saratoga Speedway is called, “The Great Race Place”