Graphic by Wyatt Burt
"Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it." ― Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines
Mini Tyrrell and the #81 Mini T's Fastest Grease In The East team will make a 400-mile trek down I-95 to the Pee Dee region of South Carolina for Saturday night's CARS Tour race at Florence Motor Speedway. It's a region that is intricately woven into the heritage of American motorsports. While the race at Florence Motor Speedway is the purpose of the trip, it's impossible not to look deeper into the 'Heart of Dixie.'
Florence Motor Speedway is located in the small community of Timmonsville -- the place where NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough grew up. Less than 20 minutes northwest of Timmonsville is the hallowed ground of NASCAR's first superspeedway and most historic racetrack: Darlington Raceway.
As most race fans know, Darlington is a uniquely egg-shaped track with different configurations in the corners. As Mini and the #81 team will find out, Florence Motor Speedway also has its quirks. For starters, one of the more unusual aspects of the 4/10-mile track is the lack of an outside retaining wall beyond the frontstretch. The corners and backstretch have a grass runoff area.
"Florence looks like a fun track," Mini said. "I can't wait to see it. It looks a little scary without the outside walls, but it also looks like a ton of fun."
Mini currently sits 11th in the CARS Tour Late Model points standings. He's just 2 points outside of the top-10. His average starting spot (6.2) is tied with Layne Riggs for the 2nd best among drivers with at least 3 starts this year. Only Corey Heim (5.0) has a better average starting spot. While starting up front certainly doesn't guarantee a great finish (lap 61 at Carteret County Speedway more than proved that), it does provide much-needed track position.
On Saturday night, Mini and the #81 team are hoping that a strong start can lead to an even stronger finish. Mini's 3 top-4 finishes on the CARS Tour this season have shown that he can contend for victories. The next step is achieving that elusive goal.
● Event: CARS Tour Late Model (125 laps / 50 miles)
● Date/Time: October 3. Green flag: Approx 8:15 pm/et
● Location: Florence Motor Speedway. Timmonsville, S.C.
● Layout: 4/10-mile oval.
The #81 Mini T's Fastest Grease In The East Late Model will have a black paint scheme with white flames at Florence Motor Speedway. Mini will drive the same chassis that he drove to the pole position and a 3rd place finish at Hickory Motor Speedway in August.
FRIENDS OF JACLYN FOUNDATION RAFFLE:
Mini drew the winners of the pedal car raffle benefiting the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation on September 12. Congrats to raffle winners: Dan Pack, Eric Kurzhals, Brad Posner, Cappy McMurtray, and D.J. Jack. We raised $2,500 through the raffle to further the mission of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to pair children battling cancer with an athlete or sports team to provide support during treatment. For details, please visit the pedal car raffle page.
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, October 2
Practice: 2:30-3:30 pm, 4:30-5:00 pm, 5:30-6:00 pm
Saturday, October 3
Practice: 1:00-1:30 pm, 2:10-2:40 pm
Qualifying: 5:15 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. Be sure to check out the new Mini caricature t-shirt!
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