ARCA: Mason Mitchell Motorsports sweeps ARCA open testing at Daytona; champ Mitchell fastest overall

(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – January 17, 2016) – After engineering all three of his Mason Mitchell Motorsports (MMM) 98 cars into first, second and third on the chart in Saturday’s open test at Daytona Int’l Speedway, Mason Mitchell took his first turn at the wheel during the final hours of testing Sunday afternoon and went right to the top of the leader board.

Mitchell, the 2014 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national champion driver and owner, not only took it to the top, the W. Des Moines, Iowa driver posted the fastest speed overall during the annual two-day ARCA test at the “World Center of Racing”.

“All three Mitchell Motorsports cars were fast this weekend,” Mitchell said. “We made the decision to bring three cars only a week ago, so all of the long hours by the crew paid off.”

Mitchell got some drafting help from Empire Racing to post the top speed of the weekend at 189.809 mph. That equates to 47.416 seconds around the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

“We were working as a team to get a fast lap, and we got a good run on the (Empire Racing) pack ahead of us, and that was the difference. It was pretty cool.”

Mitchell had all three of his rookie drivers – Gus Dean (189.761 mph), Spencer Boyd (189.693 mph) and Noah Gragson (189.677 mph) – on top Saturday for a MMM sweep. Dean’s top speed set on Saturday was good enough for second fastest overall.

“Gus (Dean) is signed to drive when we come back to Daytona,” Mitchell added. “I’m still working on sponsorship to put enough together to run here next month.”

After sweeping the top of the leader board in Saturday’s test, the MMM team, with a fleet of Chevrolets, made the sweep even bigger Sunday when Mitchell added his name at the top, giving MMM the top four positions overall.

Charlotte, North Carolina rookie Dylan Lupton in an Empire Racing Ford, was second fastest on the chart Sunday, and fifth overall, the first driver behind the MMM machines.

“This is my first time drafting here and it was exciting,” Lupton said.

“We timed it just right to get a draft on those 98 cars, and with Brett’s (Holmes) help we were the fastest car for most of the day (Sunday). We practiced as a team. Every time we went out, the 18 (Holmes) came out with me. For the race, a pack of cars running up top may have enough momentum to make it work; it’s going to be a chess game.

“The Empire crew worked hard all weekend to make us fast. I can’t thank them enough.”

With Lupton leading the team colors on the charts at 189.502 mph, Empire Racing swept positions fifth through eighth on the overall board with Lupton, rookie Brett Holmes (189.394 mph), Lupton again in another Empire Ford (189.247 mph), and veteran/former Daytona polesitter Sean Corr (189.243 mph). Like Lupton, Holmes was learning the draft.

“The draft was cool,” Holmes said. “This was my first time in it, and the air and g-forces were an experience. We were working together as a team trying to be fast.

“I wish the 48 car had not had mechanical issues yesterday…we may have ended up as the fastest team if we could have had three cars in our draft against the Mitchell cars.”

ARCA veteran Tom Hessert, who did not participate in Sunday’s test, was ninth fastest overall in the Venturini Motorsports Toyota at 188.957 mph.

Jeff Myers, Jr. turned a lot of heads over the weekend, posting the 10th fastest speed overall at 188.881 mph in a Lira Motorsports Ford in his first superspeedway attempt. Myers, from Lambertville, Mich., is the 2015 ARCA Truck Series champion.

The open test was originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but Friday was a complete wash-out so Sunday was added to accommodate the two-day test. Saturday’s test session was delayed briefly, but by fog. Sunday also had a delay as a result of overnight rain showers and a brief mid-morning shower.

In all, a whopping 64 drivers posted time and speed Saturday and Sunday at Daytona in preparation for the season-opening 53rd annual Lucas Oil 200 coming Saturday, February 13, live on FS1

ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
Daytona Int’l Speedway
Overall Open Test Results, (1-16/17-2016)

1 98d Mason Mitchell/W. Des Moines IA Chevy 47.416 189.809
2 98b Gus Dean/Bluffton SC Chevy 47.428 189.761
3 98a Spencer Boyd/Concord NC Chevy 47.445 189.693
4 98 Noah Gragson/Las Vegas NV Ford 47.449 189.677
5 82x Dylan Lupton/Charlotte NC Ford 47.493 189.502
6 18 Brett Holmes/Munford AL Ford 47.520 189.394
7 48a Dylan Lupton/Charlotte NC Ford 47.557 189.247
8 48 Sean Corr/Goshen NY Ford 47.558 189.243
9 25 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Toyota 47.630 188.957
10 59 Jeff Myers, Jr./Lambertville MI Ford 47.649 188.881
11 32a Shane Lee/Newton NC Toyota 47.716 188.616
12 58 Clayton Weatherman/Wentzville MO Ford 47.748 188.490
13 38a Jairo Avila/Alhambra CA Ford 47.755 188.462
14 22a Matt Wallace/Concord NC Dodge 47.786 188.340
15 77 Chase Briscoe/Mitchell IN Dodge 47.816 188.222
16 82 Dylan Martin/Lakeland FL Ford 47.831 188.162
17 66 Mark Thompson/Cartersville GA Toyota 47.844 188.111
18 05 John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA Chevy 47.860 188.048
19 42 Bo LeMastus/Louisville KY Dodge 47.862 188.041
20 55 Willliam Byron Jr./Charlotte NC Toyota 47.867 188.021
21 58a Kyle Weatherman/Wentzville MO Ford 47.890 187.931
22 38c Gray Gaulding/Statesville NC Ford 47.891 187.927
23 5a Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA Chevy 47.943 187.723
24 98c Zane Smith/Maiden NC Ford 48.033 187.371
25 32c Austin Wayne Self/Austin TX Ford 48.073 187.215
26 22 Kevin Thomas, Jr./Cullman AL Dodge 48.091 187.145
27 75a Chuck Walker/Hilton Head SC Chevy 48.095 187.130
28 36 Brandon Lynn/Penn Yan NY Ford 48.132 186.986
29 22 Brady Boswell/Watkinsville GA Dodge 48.141 186.951
30 59a Dylan Cappello/Peoria AZ Ford 48.165 186.858
31 9 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL Ford 48.198 186.730
32 43 John Ferrier/Middletown NY Chevy 48.259 186.494
33 77 Brady Boswell/Watkinsville GA Dodge 48.263 186.478
34 52c Matt Kurzejewski/Mansfield PA Toyota 48.285 186.393
35 59b Tyler Speer/Woodstock GA Ford 48.337 186.193
36 2 Sarah Cornett-Ching/Summerland BC Ford 48.362 186.097
37 59c Devin O’Connell/Madison CT Ford 48.389 185.993
38 75 Benny Chastain/Tallahassee FL Chevy 48.426 185.851
39 57a Andy Seuss/Salisbury NC Chevy 48.449 185.762
40 1 Willie Mullins/Fredericksburg VA Ford 48.450 185.759
41 32b Codie Rohrbaugh/Petersburg WV Ford 48.458 185.728
42 83 Derrick Lancaster/Christiansburg VA Chevy 48.501 185.563
43 57 Bryan Dauzat/Concord NC Chevy 48.595 185.204
44 54 Cole Custer/Ladera Ranch CA Toyota 48.604 185.170
45 68a Austin Nason/Roscoe IL Ford 48.606 185.162
46 38b Steve Kemp/Justin TX Ford 48.612 185.139
47 66a Dalton Sargeant/Boca Raton FL Toyota 48.665 184.938
48 6 Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL Chevy 48.750 184.615
49 69 Nick Higdon/Big Clifty KY Ford 48.890 184.087
50 42z Josh Reeves/Bassett VA Dodge 48.980 183.748
51 68 Grant Quinlan/Harrison MI Ford 48.991 183.707
52 5 Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA Chevy 49.279 182.634
53 62 CJ McLaughlin/Bellingham MA Dodge 49.298 182.563
54 3 Steve Fox/Hazleton PA Ford 49.546 181.649
55 58b Justin Lloyd/Raleigh NC Ford 49.578 181.532
56 62z Scott Edwards/Orlando FL Dodge 49.578 181.532
57 52a Matt Kurzejewski/Mansfield PA Chevy 49.598 181.459
58 62d Kevin Rutherford/Flower Mound TX Dodge 49.624 181.364
59 71 Gene Paul/Tarpon Springs FL Dodge 49.698 181.094
60 1 J.J. Pack/Bealeton VA Ford 49.731 180.974
61 49 Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI Ford 50.090 179.677
62 62 Kyle Lockrow/LaPlate MD Dodge 50.278 179.005
63 5b Steve Harvilla III/Broomall PA Chevy 50.413 178.525
64 62 Michael Haubrich/Jacksonville NC Dodge 50.461 178.356
65 1c Ray Ciccarelli/Ellicott City MD Ford 50.748 177.347
66 0 Tim Viens/Daytona Beach FL Chevy 50.762 177.298
67 0 Corey Howard/Fort White FL Chevy 51.770 173.846
68 0a Mike Senica/Doylestown PA Chevy 55.727 161.502

About Automobile Racing Club of America:

The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA / CRA Super Series, the ARCA Midwest Tour and the ARCA Truck Series, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.