LONG POND, Pa. (7/29/19) – Willie Mullins put in a workman’s effort to collect a 14th-place finish during Friday’s ARCA Menards Series FORTS USA 150 at Pocono Raceway.
Mullins, the driver and owner of the No. 3 Mullins Racing Ford, qualified 14th for the 60-lap event. His goal for the day was to bring the car home in one piece after damaging his race car in his two previous ARCA starts this season at Daytona International Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“We went there and executed a full weekend without any mistakes,” said Mullins. “We’re very pleased with that.”
The Fredericksburg, Va., racer was able to accomplish that goal, but it wasn’t without adversity. After an hour long delay for lightning in the area of the race track, the race was finally set to get underway when Mullins noticed a problem.
“Finally we go to roll off pit road and right off the bat I noticed the car wasn’t charging,” said Mullins. “We only had 11 and a half or 12 volts when we rolled off the grid with nothing on. So during the entire race we couldn’t run any fans, no helmet blowers, no nothing.
“With five to go the dash lights went out on the first battery, so I flipped to the second battery and we had just enough voltage to finish the race.”
Despite the car running low on battery power, Mullins soldiered on. He managed to complete the race in 14th-place, his best finish of the season to date. After the race Mullins and his crew discovered what caused the voltage problem.
“Come to find out that when we fired it up or during qualifying, the alternator belt came off and broke. So that’s why we had no charging system for the entire 60-lap race.”
While the finish may not have been exactly what Mullins and company were hoping for, he said that putting together a full race without any mistakes left him encouraged.
“Everybody was pleased that we were able to finish the race without any damage or mishaps,” Mullins said. “We came back with a whole car, now we’ve just got to clean it and fine tune on it. We’re hoping to run at Kansas next, so we’ve got some time to work on things and improve a bit.”
“Thanks to all of our crew who keep coming back and helping us get a little bit better every time. It was very important to have Kevin Belmont, Tony Furr and Greg Purkey and the entire crew who keep coming back to help. Also, I want to thank Jeff Oakley and his companies Oakley Tanklines and Oakley Logistics for coming on board and helping us race at Pocono. I also can’t forget Bugsy’s Auto, CW Metals and Crow Wing Recycling for all they do for us.”