Posted: Monday, July 21st 2014 at 2:00pm
Mitchell gets to ARCA victory lane with Chicagoland win
By Doug Donnelly
Mason Mitchell celebrates after scoring his first ARCA Racing Series victory Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. / Photo: Courtesy ARCA Media
JOLIET, IL - Mason Mitchell had been so close to celebrating in victory lane that when he finally won he had one reaction: "Is this really happening?"
It really was. Mitchell scored his first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory by winning the Ansell ActivArmr 150 at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday afternoon. Mitchell has finished second place four times this season - all to different drivers - but put an end to that by taking the lead at Chicagoland with six laps remaining and sailing into victory lane.
"Coming to the checkered flag, I just didn't want to jinx it," said Mitchell, 20. "I couldn't believe it. Once I knew that it was over, we had to celebrate the right way."
Mitchell got a bath in Gatorade when he got out of his No. 98 Musselman's-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS-Applebee's Ford.
"The whole crew, everybody on the crew, from the crew chief to the car chief, everybody, just kept digging," Mitchell said. "All year, they've been working so hard. To finally put it together a win is amazing. I'm so excited right now."
Justin Boston, in the ZLOOP-Venturini Motorsports Toyota, finished second. Mitchell passed him with six laps to go after a caution for debris on the track changed the course of the race. Boston held the lead when the green flag dropped and was running a low line, near the bottom of the track. Mitchell, meanwhile, held firm on his line near the top and slowly gained on Boston.
"The bottom didn't work for us all day," Mitchell said. "The top is where we were best."
After he got past Boston, Mitchell had a clear view ahead of him to victory lane.
"Mason drove a perfect 10 laps," Boston told the Fox Sports 2 audience after the race.
Matt Tifft, the SCOTT Rookie of the race winner, finished third in his first trip to a 1.5-mile track. Will Kimmel was fourth in the Messinas-Circle Track-Ingersoll Rand Ford and Cody Coughlin fifth in his JEGS Toyota. Coughlin was also making his first start at the track.
Spencer Gallagher led 70 laps before the handling on his car went away. He took the lead on lap three from Will Kimmel and stayed there until lap 72. He finished sixth.
"This thing started out unbelievably fast," Gallagher said.
Gallagher had started second in the race behind Menards Pole Winner John Wes Townley. Townley, of Watkinsville, GA, crashed on lap 23, ending his day. Austin Wayne Self, who crashed during qualifying, also crashed during the race, bringing out one of the six cautions.
Kimmel had a top five finish despite not having third gear on the restarts.
"I didn't have third gear," Kimmel said. "I had to go from second to fourth. On the restarts I just couldn't do anything. Once I got to fourth, the car was fast. We probably had a second-place car. I'm not sure what we had for the No. 98, but we had a fast car."
The rest of the top 10 included Grant Enfinger in seventh, Justin Allison in eighth, Tom Hessert in ninth and Frank Kimmel in 10th. Josh Williams and Leilani Munter also stayed on the lead lap, finishing 11th and 12th.
Mitchell's victory came in his 35th career start and, in doing so, he took over the series point lead.
His father, Russ Mitchell, held his celebration until his son had passed the start finish line, winning the race.
The 100-lap, 150-mile race took 1:21:50 to complete.
The ARCA Racing Series will return to Lucas Oil Raceway next week for the SCOTT Get Geared Up 200 presented by Federated Car Care Friday, July 25.
ARCA Racing Series
Chicagoland Speedway - Joliet IL
Ansell ActivArmr 150 - July 19, 2014
FIN STR NO DRIVER/HOMETOWN TEAM & CAR LAPS STATUS
1 9 98 Mason Mitchell/West Des Moines IA Musselman's-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS Ford 100 Running
2 4 25 Justin Boston/Baltimore MD ZLOOP Toyota 100 Running
3 6 52 Matt Tifft/Hinckley OH Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet 100 Running
4 3 69 Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN Messinas-Circle Track Magazine Ford 100 Running
5 5 55 Cody Coughlin/Delaware OH JEGS Toyota 100 Running
6 2 23 Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV Alamo Rent A Car Chevrolet 100 Running
7 7 90 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL Motor Honey-Casite Ford 100 Running
8 8 88 Justin Allison/Salisbury NC HaVaCoSales.com Ford 100 Running
9 11 77 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Caregard-AxiomWarranty.com Dodge 100 Running
10 10 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Ansell-Menards Toyota 100 Running
11 12 6 Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL Southwest Florida Cable Construction Chevrolet 100 Running
12 16 66 Leilani Munter/Rochester MN PrairieGold Solar Toyota 100 Running
13 14 20 Tom Berte/New Berlin WI CGS Premier Chevrolet 98 Running
14 13 3 Jerry Tunney/Clarks Summit PA Coldwell Banking Chevrolet 98 Running
15 18 18 Bill Catania/Westfield NY Stacks Original Wings & BBQ Sauce Chevrolet 97 Running
16 17 47 Buster Graham/Lafayette LA Team Stange Racing Ford 96 Running
17 19 48 Rick Clifton/Circleville OH Ohio Cat Ford 96 Running
18 15 2 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL DK-LOK Ford 88 Running
19 22 0 James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ Wayne Peterson Racing Dodge 67 Running
20 23 22 Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX AM Technical Solutions Dodge 49 Accident
21 21 06 Tim Viens/Daytona Beach FL Wayne Peterson Racing Ford 29 Vibration
22 1 15 John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA Zaxby's Toyota 23 Accident
23 26 97 Roger Carter/Sunfield MI Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge 19 Window
24 25 68 Chris Bailey/South Park PA Kimmel Racing Ford 4 Handling
25 20 00 Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI Wayne Peterson Racing Chevrolet 0 Vibration
26 24 40 Galen Hassler/Columbia MO Miller Construction Dodge 0 Engine
Menards Pole Award Presented by Ansell: John Wes Townley 31.374 (172.117 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.795 seconds Cautions: 6 for 32 laps
Time of Race: 1:21:50 Average Speed: 109.980 mph
Lap Leaders: W. Kimmel 1-2 (2); Gallagher 3-72 (70); Boston 73-94 (22); Mitchell 95-100 (6)
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