It wasn’t the win that Mini Tyrrell was looking to get on Saturday night at Carteret County Speedway but after a rough start to the weekend, finishing second felt like a huge victory for him and the team.
Mini’s weekend started off with an oil leak on Friday during practice which made for a hard start to the biggest race weekend of the year at Carteret. Friday was a tough day for Mini and his crew and Saturday didn’t look any better through the practice sessions but just before qualifying the team got the engine issues under control and he qualified 11th of 21 highly competitive Limited Late Models all seeking the $15,000 prize for winning.
It would have been easy for Mini and the team to have just given up and packed the car up and headed home and no one would have blamed them. However, they kept digging and worked through all the adversity that was thrown at them and when the race started they were hoping for a good finish but what they got was so much more.
Mini began making moves right from the drop of the green flag. He started 11th but by lap 37 of 150, Mini had made his way all the way to the fourth position. Soon after he took third and rode there to the halfway point of the race. With just 51 laps remaining Mini made his move on the second place car and took the spot away.
From there he’d never give up second position again despite several restarts. Coming to the final restart of the night Mini gave it one last valiant effort to get around the leader, who had led every lap of the race. However, he pushed it too hard and got called for jumping the restart forcing a second attempt at the final restart where the leader got away and Mini took home second place.
Mini was happy with the second place finish in the biggest race of his career to date.
“We pushed it there on the last restart and it got called back,” said Mini following the race. “Obviously it was too much but I knew we had to give it our all that late in the race and seeing as he’s pulled away on every restart prior. We’ll take second. It’s not the win we were looking for but after this weekend, we’ll take it.”
Out of the car, this weekend Mini had a great time as he hosted a Friends of Jaclyn Foundation kid named Larrin Sewell. He’s an 11-year old that suffers from Tuberous Sclerosis, a progressive disease that causes tumors to grow all over the body. Sewell was an honorary member of Mini’s team and was also made an honorary Track Champion by Carteret County Speedway and given a key to the track.
Mini also got to have Craig Lendino, a fan who he met at Martinsville Speedway in 2013 at a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event. Since that time Lendino has followed Mini’s career and this weekend was his first chance to watch Mini race in person.
“With all of what we had going on with the car and racing, I don’t ever want to lose sight of the bigger picture and that’s the people we’re trying to help and the people who support us,” commented Mini. “It was a lot of fun hanging out with Larrin and his family this weekend and giving him a great experience at the race track. It was also great to see Craig again and for him to get to come in with us and get to watch the race. The time with them means more than any win I’ll ever get on track.”
Mini is supported by Castrol Edge, PPC Lubricants, Beautiful Bodies Auto Body Shop, Islander Hotel & Resort and Team Racing Virginia. For more information on Mini and the Timmy Tyrrell Racing team check out their website at www.MiniTyrrell.com or click “like” on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MiniTyrrell/ and @minityrrell on Twitter and Instagram.