Pic: Andrew Fuller photography
After consecutive top-3 finishes on the CARS Tour, Mini Tyrrell and the #81 Mini T's Fastest Grease In The East team head to Franklin County Speedway in Callaway, Va. with brewing confidence. A pole at Hickory Motor Speedway and a runner-up finish at Dominion Raceway has the driver looking forward to his third race in a 21-day span -- even with unknowns on the horizon.
This will be Mini's first visit to the .375-mile track in Southwestern Virginia. The race weekend, which was originally scheduled for Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C., was moved to the historic venue in Franklin County because of coronavirus concerns.
"It's going to be a new experience for everybody," Mini said. "Most of us on the CARS Tour have never raced at Franklin County. I can't wait to see what we can do."
Mini moved up to 13th in the CARS Tour Late Model points standings on the heels of his 2nd place effort at Dominion Raceway. He's gained a whopping 13 spots in the points standings in the last 2 races, and sits just 10 points outside of the top-10. His average starting spot (7.0) is 3rd best among drivers with at least 3 starts this year. Mini's 2.5 average finishing position in the last 2 races is the best among all CARS Tour competitors in that span.
Franklin County Speedway opened as a dirt track in 1969 before being paved at the conclusion of its first season of racing. With 22-25 degrees of banking in the corners, Franklin County is among the highest banked tracks that Mini has raced on. "I haven't seen the track in person, but I look forward to getting there and figuring it out," Mini said.
Franklin County's impact on motorsports can be traced back to the Prohibition Era of the 1930's where [illegal] moonshine production thrived. The drivers and mechanics from Appalachia would modify engines and suspension parts to improve horsepower and handling on dirt roads to evade law enforcement.
Nearly 100 years later, the aromas of creosote and turpentine near copper kettles in the Virginia hills have faded. But it's the continuous quest for speed and handling at Franklin County Speedway that underscores the region's heritage.
● Event: CARS Tour Late Model (125 laps / 47 miles)
● Date/Time: August 22. Green flag: Approx 8:15 pm/et
● Location: Franklin County Speedway. Callaway, Va.
● Layout: .375-mile oval.
22 degree banking - turns 1 and 2
25 degree banking - turns 3 and 4
The #81 Mini T's Fastest Grease In The East Late Model will have a black paint scheme with white flames at Franklin County Speedway. Mini will drive the same chassis that he drove at Hickory Motor Speedway earlier this month. He qualified on the pole and finished 3rd.
FRIENDS OF JACLYN FOUNDATION RAFFLE:
Be sure to check out the raffle for the #81 pedal car benefiting the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. Tickets are $5/each and limited to 500. Every dollar supports the mission of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to brighten the lives of children and families impacted by cancer. Mini and his race team have been steadfast FOJ supporters for the last 2 years.
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS:
Mini and the #81 team are thankful for support from Convenience Tire and Auto, 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, August 21
Practice: 2:30-3:30 pm, 4:30-5:00 pm, 5:30-6:00 pm
Saturday, August 22
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.