Victory Lane wasn’t the only place to find a celebration at Kansas Speedway on Friday night at the ARCA Racing Series Full Throttle S’loonshine 98.9.
Mason Mitchell’s last pit stop in the 99-lap race came after lap 28. Fuel – or running out of it, rather – never crossed his mind.
“It was what we were getting in practice and getting all year,” Mitchell said. “Saving fuel, it wasn’t that hard of a decision for us. And of course clean air is king, everybody knows that, and we got out front and never looked back.”
Mitchell took the lead with seven laps to go and never relinquished it. It was his third career ARCA victory, and his second this season.
The other celebration on Friday took place about 30 feet outside Victory Lane. Grant Enfinger officially claimed the 2015 points title after a dominating six-win performance, including victories in the first three races of the season. It was his first career points title.
Enfinger only needed to start the race to make things official. He wound up finishing third in the race, putting together a solid finish to a spectacular campaign.
Enfinger and his crew celebrated the championship with a champagne shower and photo ops with a box full of sponsor’s hats.
“I’m more of a PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) guy,” Enfinger said with a smile. “Overall, it was tasting good tonight. Starting out this year we worked a lot of really dumb hours to get caught up. We were able to get where we needed to be halfway through the season, and things started falling in place.”
Enfinger intended to race hard, despite having the points title locked up. He was true to his word.
“The whole season was important, and this race was too,” Enfinger said. “We didn’t have a bad finish, and we had a heck of a year.”
Wentzville, Mo.-native Kyle Weatherman took home rookie of the year honors. Weatherman had to start at the back of the field on Friday after hitting the wall in qualifying. He rallied and finished second, jockeying with Mitchell down the stretch.
“That was really cool. It gave me motivation, knowing we had a chance to win,” Weatherman said. “Having the chance to execute on it means a lot to myself and the team too.”