PETERBOROUGH, ON- Following disastrous tour outings at Delaware and Flamboro in Rounds 3 and 4 of the APC United Late Model Series, former Autumn Colours Classic champion ‘Handsome’ Chris Mitchell will return to his home track for the first time this year for a much-needed turnaround to his 2015 season.
“We’ve had a lot of races away from home so far this season, so it’s going to be really nice to sleep in our own beds and not wake up at 5:00am on race day,” laughs Mitchell. “It’s a completely different element when you’re at a track you’re familiar with. When we unload at Peterborough, I know exactly how I want the car to feel. I know how I want it to sound. I know how I want it to drive. We’re not searching for our comfort level like we have been in the last few races”
“With that neutralized – all I have to worry about is finding my rhythm and getting our car where we need it to be. It’s a huge load off our minds”
The Peterborough, ON native aims to bounce back from a pair of frustrating finishes in Rounds 3 and 4 of the tour that left his No. 22M with heavy damage and a heavier repair bill.
For Mitchell, the 100-lap event on July 18th could be his last shot at generating a run on the ultra-competitive cross-province tour.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that we’ve struggled this year,” shrugs the veteran. “A lot of it has just been ‘wrong place, wrong time’ situations. This car has shown a lot of speed, and I have a ton of faith in this team – but if things don’t turn around for us at Peterborough, I’m not sure how much more we have left in the tank”
“It’s been draining on us – mentally, physically and financially – to tear this car up in the last two events,” continues Mitchell. “Hopefully we can come out and have the run that I know we’re capable of at our home track”
As a multi-time Peterborough Speedway winner, Mitchell will enter Round 5 of the tour as an early-favourite for a breakout performance. However, the fan-favourite is quick to note that while home track familiarity will play a role – it promises him nothing.
“The advantage is, without question, knowing how to run the track,” says ‘Handsome’ Chris. “Peterborough can be a taxing place, especially if you’re not sure where to set a guy up for a pass or where to try and execute a move. But, with that said, I don’t think being a former Peterborough regular guarantees us anything”
“There are a lot of drivers on this roster that have proven to be pretty fast learners at some of the other speedways that we’ve been to – and there’s no reason to assume that won’t be the case on Saturday,” adds the former Peterborough championship contender.
“Dan [McHattie] and myself have alot of laps around Peterborough, but guys like [Mike] Bentley, [Shaun] McWhirter and Brandon [Watson] have had some really big performances there in the past as well. As far as I’m concerned, it’s wide open for who you might see at the front on race day”
When asked to provide his forecast for Saturday’s event, Mitchell notes that because each driver on the APC Series roster is so even, it renders predictions almost impossible.
“This touring deal really has brought together the best of the best from all over the province,” muses the well-spoken veteran. “The parity is almost immeasurable. And when you go into one of these events, it’s no different than playing a hand of poker”
“You just lay down your best cards and hope that it’s enough. Circumstances happen, and the best cars don’t always win, but that’s just part of racing. So, Saturday night, we’ll try and lay down our pair of kings and maybe that will be enough to get us to victory lane. Or, on the flip side, we could lose to a Seven/Two. There aren’t a whole lot of ways to predict it. You just have to play it out.”
Details for Saturday’s event, including gate times and ticket prices, can be found at www.PeterboroughSpeedway.com.
Fans can keep up with Mitchell on race day – and throughout the 2015 season – by visiting his official Chris Mitchell Racing page on Facebook or by following on Twitter @CMR22Racing
Marketing support for Chris Mitchell’s 2015 season is provided by Dent Dynamics, Earl Ireland Auto Sales, Klotz Canada, SRP Electric, Triben Media and Rockstar Energy Drink.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)