Time to load up for Daytona...final thoughts from Kyle Weatherman

Time to load up for Daytona...final thoughts from Kyle Weatherman

TOLEDO, Ohio (Feb. 10, 2017) - Final preparations are in the works for Mason Mitchell Motorsports (MMM). It's time to load up for the biggest race of the year - the 54th annual Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 at Daytona Int'l Speedway next Saturday.

Series veteran Kyle Weatherman will be part of the three-driver effort headed to the World Center of Racing that includes rookies Quin Houff and Kaz Grala. No doubt, the players at MMM have been working around the clock to get everything ready.

"In my opinion, we have a lot to prove this year," said Weatherman. "We've got the resources to get the job done...we just have to go out and make it happen."

Weatherman's been in the shop all along doing his part to "make it happen."

"I'm here in the shop, getting to know everyone, helping where I can. Obviously, I'm no stranger to Mason Mitchell Motorsports but there are some guys here I've never worked with. I'm getting to know them, and they're getting to know me. I've always been very involved."

Weatherman's No. 78 Chevrolet is in the final stages of preparation before it goes in the trailer.

"Right now, we're "pulling down" (on the pull-down machine), so we're very close on my car. We have a few things yet to do set-up-wise, then nut and bolt it, load it up and go."

Weatherman finished third at Daytona last year. With the experience he brings, he certainly believes he can win the race.

"Absolutely we can win it. Honestly, no matter where you start at Daytona, everyone has a chance. It's about being in the right place at the right time. Gotta have good pit stops for sure, put yourself in position when it counts the most and make it happen."

Mason Mitchell, the 2014 ARCA national driving champion, will be Weatherman's crew chief at Daytona.

"There's a lot that goes into this. Obviously Mason's been there before, and that always helps. I'm really excited...we have a big opportunity in front of us. We just have to go out and do it."

Weatherman is well-known among the ARCA ranks having won the SCOTT Rookie of the Year honors and the Short Track Challenge championship all in the same year 2015. Weatherman's numbers have been impressive right from the start with 22 top-fives and 32 top-10s in 43 starts since 2013. He also won on the New Jersey road course race in 2015.

Houff, a younger 19 (than Weatherman), will be making his career-first ARCA start at Daytona. Houff burst onto the scene with a surprise victory in the CARS Super Late Model Tour at Tri-County Motor Speedway in North Carolina in 2015, then won the season-opener in 2016.

Grala, 18, made nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts in 2016 in the No. 33 Silverado for GMS Racing, earning three top-10 finishes. The rookie got a jump-start on ARCA's season-opener, competing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona Jan. 28-29. 

The Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire is live on FS1 Saturday afternoon, Feb. 18. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring and live chat of all on-track activities, including practice Thursday and Friday and pole qualifying Friday afternoon.

Don Radebaugh