“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Wind, Sand and Stars
There are certain outposts on the CARS Tour that mean just a little bit more to Mini Tyrrell and the #81 Mini T's Fastest Grease In The East team. This weekend, Mini visits a place where he stepped up in Late Model competition in 2018 and rose to the occasion. He visits a place that is 4/10-mile of racing perfection on North Carolina's Crystal Coast. He visits a place that is truly a home away from home. The place, of course, is Bobby Watson's Carteret County Speedway.
Mini, who celebrated his 16th birthday on September 8, is one of the hottest drivers on the CARS Tour with 3 top-4 finishes in the last 4 races heading into Saturday's Solid Rock Carriers 125.
Mini moved up to 12th in the CARS Tour Late Model points standings on the heels of his 4th place finish at Langley Speedway on August 29. With three top-4 finishes this season, only points leader Jared Fryar has more top-4 finishes than Mini. His average starting spot (6.7) is tied with Bobby McCarty for the 2nd best among drivers with at least 3 starts this year. Only Corey Heim (4.8) has a better average starting spot.
To solely focus on the here and now when it comes to Carteret would be overlooking how the track and the community captured Mini's heart. In the spring and summer of 2018, Mini made the 6-hour trek from Northern Virginia down to Emerald Isle to compete at Carteret. It was a higher level of Late Model competition and the 13-year-old driver seized the moment. Among his 3 runner-up finishes at Carteret was a spirited 1-2 finish with Layne Riggs on a starry night in July.
Mini's efforts at Carteret in 2018 captivated race fans on the Crystal Coast. Perhaps his most prominent cheerleader was the track's founder Bobby Watson who endeared himself to Mini and the #81 team during a spring test session that year. Following Watson's passing in October 2018, current track owner Bob Lowery has carried the torch forward for motorsports on the Crystal Coast.
A victory in the Solid Rock Carriers 125 would certainly elevate the racing pedigree of the 16-year-old driver. But, even more than that, a victory would be hugely popular in the grandstands and above.
● Event: CARS Tour Late Model (125 laps / 50 miles)
● Date/Time: September 12. Green flag: Approx 8:15 pm/et
● Location: Carteret County Speedway. Swansboro, N.C.
● Layout: 4/10-mile oval.
8 degrees banking - turns
4 degrees banking - straightaways
The #81 Mini T's Fastest Grease In The East Late Model will have a white paint scheme with red numbers at Carteret County Speedway. Mini will drive the same chassis that he most recently drove to a 4th place finish at Langley Speedway on August 29.
It was a race of attrition on a humid July night on the Crystal Coast. Of the 24 drivers who started the race, only 10 were running at the finish. Crashes and mechanical failures eliminated more than half of the field. Mini sustained damage to the hood of the #81 Chevrolet in one of the chain reaction crashes, but managed to finish on the lead lap in 8th place.
FRIENDS OF JACLYN FOUNDATION RAFFLE:
Mini is incredibly grateful for all of the donors who supported the pedal car raffle benefiting the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. The 500th and final ticket was sold on August 21. The drawing will be held on September 12 on Facebook Live at approximately 12:45 p.m. from Moonshiners on the grounds of Carteret County Speedway.
Pedal car raffle
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS:
Mini and the #81 team are thankful for support from Convenience Tire and Auto, Solid Rock Carriers, Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services, Absolutely Amish Structures, and Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. Thank you Rayvon Clark/Clark's Automotive Race Engines and Hedgecock Racing Enterprises for your support.
MINI'S ON-TRACK SCHEDULE:
Friday, September 11
Practice: 4:30-5:30 pm, 5:45-6:15 pm, 6:30-7:00 pm
Saturday, September 12
Practice: 2:15-2:45 pm, 3:00-3:30 pm
Qualifying: 5:35 pm
Green flag: Approx 8:15 pm
Gear up with Mini's merchandise from Black Acid Apparel. T-shirts, hats, and tank tops are the perfect way to show your support for Mini and the #81 team.
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