Kansas: Marc Mitchell preview

Mitchell Glad To Be Behind the Wheel of Toyota Rookie Feeling Confident About Kansas Return, New Gear Kansas Fast Facts: * The O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 is the fifth race of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Season. It will be Marc Mitchell's ...

Mitchell Glad To Be Behind the Wheel of Toyota
Rookie Feeling Confident About Kansas Return, New Gear

Kansas Fast Facts:

* The O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 is the fifth race of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Season. It will be Marc Mitchell's first race since the #15 team switched manufacturers from Chevrolet to Toyota.

* Mitchell's last NCTS race was at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Denny Hamlin drove the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports entry at Martinsville Speedway.

* Mitchell spent the April 12 off-weekend competing in the Late Model race at South Georgia Motorsports Park. He earned the pole and finished in fourth-place.

* Mitchell is currently 28th in points, but third best of drivers with three or less starts.

* Mitchell has one prior start in the Kansas Speedway in ARCA competition. His day ended after mechanical failure.

* The #15 Ergon Hyprene Chevrolet will compete in 21 races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2008. Mitchell is competing for Rookie of The Year Honors.

Marc Mitchell Comments on O'Reilly Auto Parts 250:

"I don't know if I can get into this Ergon Toyota fast enough. I've been pretty anxious to get back behind the wheel since Atlanta, but now with our new relationship with Toyota, this weekend couldn't come fast enough. The results that we've seen from Toyotas in this series has been amazing over the past few seasons. They are always up front, and I feel like this is going to really boost our program. I can't thank Billy (Ballew) enough and everyone at Toyota for their efforts. But, now it's time to show what we can do.

"I really feel confident going back to Kansas, especially since I was there last year for the ARCA race. We had a really good car. We unloaded quick, and we had the second-fastest car on the race track. It was a place I felt like I adapted to pretty quickly. I feel like I should be able to do the same thing in the truck. We didn't end up with the results we wanted last year -- I had some engine troubles, a broken rocker arm ruined our day. I'm not expecting us to have any power plant woes this time with our new Toyota engines, so hopefully I'll have a strong top-10 finish to make up for last time. I think that's where my team and my sponsor, Ergon, belong. We feel we have the right gear to get a top finish.

"It's just another positive step to head to Kansas (Speedway). I've been there before, so I'm not heading into an unknown. I know what to expect and have that experience. It's a really fun race track. It's real corner-entry sensitive. If you don't hit your marks getting in, it's going to cost you. It's definitely a place where you've got to be on the money every lap. I think that will play into my hands. I feel like I'm pretty consistent during the race and I usually hit my marks. It's sort of a cliche to 'be smooth', but it's very critical at Kansas. If I can do that on Saturday, then I'll have a shot at a good run.

"During the off weekend, I went and dusted off my late model car. I hadn't taken it off the shop floor in three or four years. Boy, did it feel good to take it out again. It gave me a chance to prepare my own equipment and go back to the track I grew up racing on. I raced at South Georgia Motorsports Park and rubbed some elbows with the guys I used to drive against. I ended up getting the pole, but had to start in the back because I missed intros. I made it up front, but had a right-rear tire go down and had to settle for fourth-place. We didn't win, but it felt great to be behind the wheel of a race car again.

"I'm looking forward to winning some late model races later this summer, but my goal for now is to put together some good finishes for the Ergon team. It's obvious that we're going to Kansas with a new plate. It's almost like a new start. We can share our information with the '51' team and that will be beneficial. There is a lot to look forward to. We want better finishes, and I can't think of a better place to start than Kansas."

-credit: er

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Series NASCAR Truck