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TO BE THE BEST: Mike Mahaney Aiming High in Full-Time Return

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After a solid start to the 2023 season, Mahaney saw the perfect opportunity to rejoin the Super DIRTcar Series full time this year

Growing up at racetracks, watching his dad race, Mike Mahaney not only became a fan, but a student.

He saw the trials and tribulations of being a race car driver and what it took to be the best of the best. It fueled his passion for the sport, knowing he wanted to one of the best racing against the best.

So, when the stars aligned to return to the Super DIRTcar Series full-time this year, the Kings Ferry, NY driver said it was a “no-brainer” decision.

“We looked at it early in the season and we had a lot of equipment ready to go,” Mahaney said. “Things have been kind of going pretty smoothly. I think we were going to do 15 out of the 20 races that were left anyway… It was kind of a no-brainer after we sat down and looked at the schedule and looked it over.

“(When you) race for a living, you want to do it against the best of the best.”

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Both of Mike Mahaney’s Series wins have come at his home track Albany-Saratoga Speedway. (Photo: Q. Young)

He kicked off the championship season with a 21st-place finish at Bridgeport Motorsports Park, but then came back the next two races with a 10th-place finish at Weedsport Speedway and a runner-up finish at Lebanon Valley Speedway – further fueling his decision to rejoin the tour after having made a few prior full-time attempts.

Compared to years past, Mahaney enters more prepared than ever before. He has two Series wins under his belt – both at Albany-Saratoga Speedway where he’s built his skills as a weekly competitor – and experience at most tracks on the tour. In more than 130 starts with the Series, he’s amassed two wins, 19 top fives and 49 top 10s.

“I remember my first season on the Series, and I went to some tracks I had never seen before,” Mahaney said. “I didn’t even know what gears to put in the car. Now, just even based off of memory, I kind of have a little bit of an idea most of the places we are going to.”

Along with refamiliarizing himself with the plethora of tracks on tour, he’s also having to get back into the mentality of points racing again.

“We show up a little more prepared to finish no matter what to make sure we get some points,” Mahaney said. “Before, we were showing up to win and I think we are still showing up to win. I think if something bad happens, you try a little harder to continue so you can still get some points.”

After a 17th-place finished at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Mahaney enters the summer stretch of races ninth in points. However, he said he’s optimistic about the second half of the season with the Series making stops at tracks he enjoys, such as the Series’ return to Canada at Autodrome Drummond (July 31-Aug. 1) and Brockville-Ontario Speedway (Aug. 2) and the SummerFAST events at Brewerton Speedway (Aug. 14), Fulton Speedway (Aug. 15) and Land of Legends Raceway (Aug. 16).

Between Super DIRTcar Series races, Mahaney plans on racing weekly at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, hoping it will keep his skills sharp and equipment up to par.

“I feel like if we qualify good and run up front and compete for the win (at Albany-Saratoga), that would build a lot of confidence when we travel and when we go to other places,” Mahaney said.

It’s all in preparation to be his best as he races against the best.

UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series will head to Land of Legends Raceway on Monday, July 3, for a 75-lap, $7,500-to-win, showcase.

 If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every Super DIRTcar Series race live on DIRTVision – either at DIRTVision.com or by downloading the DIRTVision App