PETERBOROUGH, ON- After a tremendous 2013 campaign that saw him take part in the closest points battle in recent Peterborough Speedway history, former Ltd. Late Model Autumn Colours Champion Chris Mitchell will return to fulltime competition in 2014 with a retooled program and hopes of attaining his first Late Model division championship.
“The entire 2013 season was some of the most fun I’ve ever had at a speedway”, the Late Model standout explains. “Right from Night 1, we had a fantastic year. We ran extremely well at both invitationals at Peterborough against some of the best in the province. The regular season was not without its obstacles, but we overcame them as a team, and ended up second in the year end points championship”.
After coming closer than ever before to a track championship, Mitchell displays renewed focus when speaking about his goals for the rapidly approaching season.
“Our push for the championship came down to the last night of racing”, says the Peterborough, ON veteran. “When the last checkered flew we ended up just a few points shy. A one-time fluke mechanical failure around the mid-point of the season was all it took to cost us the points! We’re more motivated than ever before, we can’t wait to get back to Peterborough. We’ve put our name on virtually everything there is to win at this speedway except for a Late Model championship and that’s going to change this season”.
The 37-year old pilot, with the loving support of his partner Nicole and their two children, has diligently restructured his program. Numerous off-season upgrades have been made to a chassis acquired from longtime friend Earl Ireland in preparation for Mitchell’s 2014 debut on May 17th
“Our new chassis is only 3 races old, and I’ve spent a large part of the off-season going over it, making sure we’ll be ready for opening night”, says Mitchell. “I’ve known [multi-time champion and chassis manufacturer] Dan McHattie my entire life, I spend a lot of time bouncing ideas off of him, trying to find the right setup. I’m elated to work with a new car. I feel as though our team had a good idea of what made our old car work, and I’m excited to get to that place with our new chassis. It’s just like solving a puzzle. That’s the aspect I most enjoy about racing”.
When asked what his 2014 schedule could include, ‘Handsome’ Chris contends that his primary concern is balancing racing with the demands of a growing business and a young family.
“I’d love more than anything to tell you that we have a 40-race schedule planned, and that we’ll be touring the province on a weekly basis”, laughs Mitchell. “But the reality is that we will have our car at Peterborough on a weekly basis and contend for as many wins as I can get”.
When pressed about a possible touring program, Mitchell admits he’s open to the idea.
“A championship at Peterborough is still at the top of my bucket list. But, should the proper marketing support arrive, I hope to enter a couple Pro Late Model invitationals over the course of the summer”.
Chris Mitchell’s 2014 season will carry marketing support from Rockstar Energy Drink, Dent Dynamics, Earl Ireland Auto Sales, Triben Entertainment, Dan McHattie Race Cars, Klotz Fuels Canada and Kawartha Metals.
Fans can follow ‘Handsome’ Chris via his @DentDynamics22 Twitter account or his ‘Chris Mitchell Racing’ page on Facebook.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)