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TEXAS DRIVERS LOOK TO MAKE MARK AT PORTACOOL TEXAS WORLD DIRT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP
Little has stopped P&W Sales SUPR Late Model driver Jon Mitchell this season.
Mitchell, the defending SUPR Late Model champion, has captured four victories in the series’ first five points events and will look to continue his impressive start at this weekend’s Portacool Texas World Dirt Track Championship at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
>Mitchell, a native of Texarkana, Texas, began his streak with a win in late March at Baton Rouge (La.) Speedway and followed with a weekend sweep at Battleground Speedway in Highlands, Texas, and then a victory at Timberline Speedway in Corley, Texas.
Mitchell’s winning streak ended in mid-April when Timothy Culp won the SUPR Late Model race at I-30 Speedway in Bryant, Ark., but the strong start has given him a 124-point lead in the championship standings heading into the two-day Portacool Texas World Dirt Track Championship that opens Friday evening. The event also will feature racing in the Modified and Limited Modified divisions.
For Mitchell, the team’s success can be traced to the time when he is not actually on the track but rather the long hours he and his crew put into preparing the car every week.
“It’s hard work in the shop,” Mitchell said. “We bust our butts here in the shop, trying to get everything prepared the best we can. We’ve got a pretty good motor program and car program right now, so it seems like everything is jelling for us.”
A win at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track would be a first for Mitchell. The event, viewed by many drivers as one of the most prestigious on the dirt track series circuit, has eluded Mitchell and will serve as motivation this weekend.
“It would be big,” Mitchell said. “The best we’ve run there is third, so I would definitely like to get that (winner’s) cowboy hat for sure.”
Looking to challenge Mitchell for the prized cowboy hat is the series’ young gun, 18-year-old Tyler Erb of Magnolia, Texas. Erb, still juggling racing with his high school responsibilities, is currently third in the P&W Sales SUPR Late Model standings.
Erb began racing in 2011 as a 14-year-old in the Hobby Stock Division and a year later he took over the driver duties of his father’s Super Late Model. It took him just four starts to land his first win for the father-son team. Last year, he recorded his first win in the P&W Sales SUPR Late Model division, which came at Lonestar Speedway in Kilgore, Texas.
A victory amongst some of the series’ most veteran drivers this weekend could bolster his rise in the series.
“That would be the biggest win ever,” Erb said. “That’s one of the biggest races of the year and a victory would be awesome.”
The Portacool Texas World Dirt Track Championship opens Friday, beginning at 6:45 p.m. CT, with heats for the Modified and Limited Modified divisions. The championships for the Modified, Limited Modified and P&W Sales SUPR Late Model will be decided Saturday, with racing beginning at 6 p.m.
Tickets for the Portacool Texas World Dirt Track Championship tickets are available through www.texasmotorspeedway.com, the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting a participating O’Reilly Auto Parts store in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex that includes a $5 discount on admission. No in-store purchase is necessary.
Grandstand tickets for Friday are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, and $20 for adults and $10 for children for Saturday. Event parking is free throughout the weekend.