While Marc Mitchell and the No. 93 Ergon Racing crew came up one position short of victory in Saturday's ARCA 200 at the Daytona International Speedway, the start of their 2007 season can definitely be described as successful. In the end a...
While Marc Mitchell and the No. 93 Ergon Racing crew came up one position short of victory in Saturday's ARCA 200 at the Daytona International Speedway, the start of their 2007 season can definitely be described as successful. In the end a dominant Bobby Gerhart would not be denied victory, taking the best shot from Mitchell and "teammate" Jeremy Clements. The second place finish is the highest ever ARCA RE/MAX finish for the Tallahassee, Fla. native and it answered any questions of whether Mitchell could run with the big boys.
The promising day got off to a dramatic start when Mitchell reported late to the mandatory driver's meeting, forcing the ARCA officials to enforce a rule that made Mitchell have to move to the back of the field for the green flag. The mistake, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
"It was embarrassing to have to move to the back," said Mitchell. "But if we would have kept our position, we would have probably been right in the middle of several of the early cautions."
A caution of lap 12 brought an overheating Mitchell down pit road. Crew chief Rusty Clinton called for a pulling of grill tape and a topping off of the fuel cell. This would be the last time the No. 93 Ergon Pontiac would smell pit road. He would run the last 68 laps on one tank of fuel.
A lap 27 caution brought most of the leaders down pit road, but Mitchell stayed out and took the restart on lap 35 in the lead. The Ergon Pontiac, the only Pontiac in the field, would not fall out of the top-five for the rest of the race.
Despite the plethora of cautions that marred the rest of the race, no one in the top-five dared to make a move, deciding instead to stay single file until the waning laps. A lap 76 caution that littered the famed 2.5 mile oval in debris set up an exciting green and white-checkered finish. Mitchell and Clements attempted a double team of Gerhart to no avail.
"I took some pretty wild rides tonight," said Mitchell. "I drove through the grass, I got squeezed up by the wall, but I managed to dodge all of the wrecks."
"My crew gave me a great car, but there was no catching the 5," sounded Mitchell. "I think we definitely made a statement tonight. This is just a great start to what will be an outstanding season with Ergon."
The next race for the Ergon Racing team will be the ARCA RE/MAX Series event at the Nashville Superspeedway on April 7th.
-credit: ergon racing