“It is pretty cool to have your name in the record books with the track record,” Mitchell said after the post-qualifying ceremony. “A pole is good by itself, but a new track record is pretty special.”
Mitchell is in his second race driving for the No. 82 Happy Cheeks Ford and the Empire Racing-Mason Mitchell Motorsports team. He starts tonight’s Primera Plastics 200 in sixth place in the season point race.
“The crew chief is who I worked with last year (Jamie Jones),” Mitchell said. “I love working with the team.”
Mitchell will start on the front row with Venturini Motorsports driver Erik Jones, in the No. 15 Stock Car Steel-ISC Racers Tape Toyota. Jones, 17, made his qualifying lap in 16.828 seconds. He had the fastest car in the second of two practice sessions.
Rounding out the top five are Mason Mingus in the No. 32 Call Before You Dig Toyota, Justin Boston in the ZLOOP Computer & Recycling Toyota and Frank Kimmel in the Ansell Menards No. 44 Toyota.
A pre-race autograph session will take place from 6 to 6:45 pm. The Primera Plastics 200 will start at 8:30 p.m. with live timing and scoring available on arcaracing.com, which is also broadcasting the live audio through the ARCA Racing Network and announcers Charley Krall and Tim Clagg.
Kimmel has set aim for his 80th all-time ARCA victory. He has won 79 ARCA races on 29 different tracks and is the only driver in tonight’s field to have won at Berlin Raceway. He’s done it three times.
Mingus, who is leading the SCOTT Rookie Challenge point standings, is also second behind Kimmel in the driver standings.
Other top 10 drivers in the field are Clint King in the Speedrack-Nashville Wire Venturini Motorsports No. 55, Austin Wayne Self in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge No. 22 in seventh, Michael Lira making his series debut in the Gary Yeomans No. 69 Ford and the eighth starting spot, Tom Hessert in the No. 77 Barbera’s Autoland Doge ninth and Kelly Kovski in the Hoosier Tire Midwest-Allgaier Motorsports Dodge in 10th.
Self is making his fourth ARCA start and has finishes of second, sixth and 10th on his resume.
The Roulo Brothers Racing Ford won the last ARCA race at Berlin with Chris Buescher on the wheel. Josh Williams will start in the No. 99 Allegiant Travel Ford tonight and Brad Smith in the other Roulo Brothers Racing Ford entry.
Mitchell said his team made some adjustments and is geared up for the race.
“We were pretty solid in practice, but we kept making changes on the car. It worked out really good.
“Berlin is one of my favorite tracks,” he continued. “It takes a lot of rhythm and patience to get around the place fast. I finished fifth last year, I’m hoping to better that effort this weekend in the Happy Cheeks Ford Fusion.”
For the full starting lineup, click here: