"Right now, I can't read too good, don't send me no more letters no
Not unless you mail them from Desolation Row." -- Bob Dylan
Mini Tyrrell and the #81 Quaker State team had high hopes coming into the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 at South Boston Speedway. Unfortunately, wall contact early in the race ended their night prematurely and resulted in a 37th place finish.
This was the first Late Model race the team entered outside of the CARS Tour since 2018. Although the general environment may have been different. it came at a track that holds immense meaning for the leader of the race team. Crew chief Brandon Butler won 9 races at South Boston Speedway en route to the 2001 track championship.
Although his 16-year-old driver had raced at South Boston Speedway in both 2018 and 2019, this was his first foray under the lights at the historic short track. A solid day of practice on Friday boosted the team's hopes for a good run in Saturday night's race.
A 10th place qualifying effort -- while lower than the driver's average start on the CARS Tour -- came in a massive 37-car field. As the air temperature cooled on Saturday night, the driver strapped in for what he expected to be a long evening behind the wheel.
At the outset, Mini used the outside line to his advantage and took 9th place from Brandon Pierce by the end of lap 2. He battled Chad McCumbee for 8th for a lap before falling back to contend with Pierce. Coming off turn 2 just 6 laps into the race, Mini hit the wall on the exit of the corner. Smoke billowed from the right side of the #81 Quaker State Chevrolet as Brandon immediately knew the damage would likely be terminal.
Mini brought the car to pit road where car chief Dan Givens diagnosed a broken track bar and the car was then retired from the event. Just 157 seconds after the green flag, Mini's race was over.
The team will regroup and prepare for the next race at Hickory Motor Speedway on July 31. The event is a highlight of the summer on the CARS Tour with drivers running a Throwback paint scheme. Mini will announce his Throwback on July 7.
Thank you to our partners
Convenience Tire and Auto, Quaker State, Solid Rock Carriers, Absolutely Amish Structures, and BDL Motorsports.