RPW Column: Even With ’19 Struggles, Mike Mahaney’s Grateful For Opportunities Given To Him; Eyes Strong 2020

RPW Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – SYRACUSE, NY – One of the busiest people in Dirt Modified racing during the 2019 racing season was King Ferry, NY’s Mike Mahaney.

Not only did he follow the entire Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified tour, he also followed the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series as well as the Short Track Super Series North Region. On top of his travels, he was also a weekly regular at two popular tracks…Friday night’s at Albany-Saratoga and Saturday’s at the Plattsburgh Airborne.

Oh, did I forget to mention that he moved to a new team in 2019, driving most of his events for the Adirondack Auto team who most recently had drivers Frank Cozze and Mike Perrotte behind the wheel.

To say Mahaney was busy may just be an understatement, but he’s extremely grateful for the amount of racing he was able to do this past season.

“I really just have to thank George and Julie Huttig giving me the opportunity to race and to run the Super DIRTcar Series,” Mahaney said. “It’s a long process to endure. It’s a lot of tracks to go to and a lot of miles to travel. I can’t thank them enough for the chance they took on me.”

Doing as much racing as they did, the amount of money spent by this team in 2019 was great, but it produced two quality points finishes in both DIRTcar series. Mahaney finished 11th in the Big Block Series with eight top 10 finishes while coming home a strong second place to Erick Rudolph on the 358-Modified trail, capturing six top 5’s and 10 top 10’s.

He also finished sixth in points at Malta while securing third place in points at his Saturday night home in Plattsburgh.

“With what we did this year, the amount of racing we did, it comes down to a lot of expenses,” he said. “It’s a lot with fuel, tires, engines and everything, but the Huttig’s stood behind me and our team. I can’t thank them enough.”

Mahaney and the Adirondack Auto #35 team took home four wins in 2019. Two victories came at Albany-Saratoga while the other two came at Plattsburgh. During the season, however, the team faced a lot of struggles. Even with those struggles, they fought through them to finish the year strong.

“The way I would sum up 2019 is that we overcame a lot of adversity,” he said. “We had a lot of problems but kept running and finished out the year. We didn’t get the finishes that I would have wanted, but we learned a lot and got a lot of notes moving forward.”

One of Mahaney’s strong suits during this past season was his ability qualify decent, either through time trials or the heat races.

“We qualified well for the series races,” he said with a laugh. “I would say we made the redraw, more often than not, but I didn’t draw very well, so maybe that’s where I failed.”

Now, the focus turns to 2020 for Mahaney and how to improve his team’s program as they head into the new season.

“We’ve got to get our cars better,” he said. “We’ve got to get moving in the right direction so that we can get them through the field if we need to. That’s our focus for next year.”

Mike Mahaney is one of the hardest-working drivers in the pit area at each race. He’s motivated to improve on his 2019 results and has plans to have an even stronger season coming up.

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