Chicagoland: Ergon Racing race report

Michael McDowell grabbed his third ARCA RE/MAX Series win of the season by taking the checkered flag in Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200. The win for McDowell, which came from the pole position, narrowed Frank Kimmel's point lead over the rookie ...

Michael McDowell grabbed his third ARCA RE/MAX Series win of the season by taking the checkered flag in Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200. The win for McDowell, which came from the pole position, narrowed Frank Kimmel's point lead over the rookie driver to 150 points.

There is an old saying that goes "if it weren't for bad luck, we'd have no luck at all." Marc Mitchell seems to be living those exact words. Mitchell and the #56 Ergon Chevrolet team finished 31st in yesterday's event, despite having another car that could have at least contended for the win. This time a broken motor ended Mitchell's day prematurely.

Mitchell was making his return to the Tony Clements Racing Chevrolet that he drove for the first seven races of his partial season. Despite qualifying back in the 19th position, Mitchell was confident that his car would race well. He was right on with those words.

When the green flag dropped, Mitchell began making his way to the front. By lap 15 he was comfortably inside the top-15 and running lap times within .1 seconds of the leader. Following a lengthy red flag condition on lap 26, crew chief Barry Dodson called Mitchell down pit road for tires, fuel and minor air pressure adjustments. The car was working so well in the corners that no large adjustments were needed.

When the race restarted, Mitchell again sliced his way through the field with the skill of a surgeon. On lap 41 he would make his way around Frank Kimmel, the defending ARCA RE/MAX Series champion, who would go on to finish sixth in the race.

However, on lap 53, Mitchell radioed that the motor was possibly down a cylinder. He was running fifth at the time. A caution came out and that allowed Mitchell to bring the Ergon Chevy down pit road for diagnostics. The conclusion was that it was a terminal situation. He retired from the race after 59 laps.

"You know, every time we come to the racetrack we are one of the fastest cars there," said Mitchell. "If the motor stays together, we get taken out by someone. If we dodge the wrecks, something breaks. People talk about moral victories and, yeah, it is nice to leave the track knowing that the other drivers knew that you were there. But you will lose a lot of sleep during a season like I have had."

Dodson, who has molded championship drivers on several levels of racing, likes what he sees in Mitchell.

"That kid has a future in racing," sounded Dodson. "Today was absolutely disappointing, but I hope teams can see that is was nothing that Marc did. He flat drove the wheels off that thing today and it was a pleasure to work with him."

Mitchell's last ARCA RE/MAX Series event will be the Food World 250 at the Talladega Superspeedway on October 5th.

-credit: er

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Michael McDowell