MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Mason Mitchell Motorsports is pulling one of the most storied pages out of the ARCA Racing Series history books for the tour’s ‘throwback’ weekend on Saturday at Salem Speedway fueled by the Hoosier Lottery.
In honor of the milestone 100th ARCA race on the Salem high banks, MMM will replicate the bright yellow paint scheme driven by NASCAR Hall of Famer Benny Parsons to consecutive ARCA championships during the 1968 and 1969 seasons on their No. 98 Chevrolet in the 200-lap Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic presented by Meadow View and Salem Crossing.
Parsons carried the No. 98 on his Ford Talladega Torinos in both of his title seasons, winning 16 races in a two-year period, including two out of three at Salem in ’68.
“It’s really special for all of us at Mason Mitchell Motorsports to be able to run this scheme and pay tribute to ‘BP’ during the Salem throwback weekend,” Mitchell said. “It’s a great opportunity for us as a team.”
“The 98 has always carried a level of nostalgia in the series and that’s largely because of Benny and what he did in winning those two championships. To be able to celebrate his contributions to ARCA with this special paint scheme is cool for me as an owner and a former champion of the series. Hopefully we can continue to keep the legacy of the number going.”
Mitchell selected the No. 98 on PR director Tim Clagg’s suggestion when he started the team ahead of the 2014 season and Clagg is equally as excited for the team’s tribute to Parsons during such a historic weekend for the ARCA family.
“Mason came to me and asked me what number I thought he should choose when he was first looking at starting the team,” Clagg explained. “I didn’t have to think about the answer. I told him immediately, ‘We need to use the 98.’ That number has had so much history in the ARCA Racing Series and for Mason and the team to be able to add to it the way that they have … it’s been cool to see.”
“I have no doubt they will do Benny proud on Saturday and the No. 98 will be in contention for another victory at Salem, just like it was when ol’ BP was taking it to them back in the day and winning his two ARCA championships.”
Announced on Tuesday, former ARCA Racing Series regular Mason Mingus will return to the series on Saturday night at Salem, making his first start with MMM after 34 prior series appearances with Win-Tron Racing from 2011 to 2013.
Mingus has a career ARCA record of five top five and 25 top-10 finishes, alongside two pole qualifying efforts (Mobile and Iowa) achieved during his lone full-time season in 2013.
The Tennessee native is fired up for a return to the track he calls his “favorite” on the ARCA schedule, especially with the milestone event being the cornerstone of the weekend.
“Salem is probably the most physically and mentally demanding track the series runs, which is why it is always such an entertaining race for the fans,” Mingus said. “It’s a very tough race track because it is so worn out and also such a high speed race track. There is very little grip and tires fall off very quick so you have to constantly be saving your tires.”
Mingus has a best effort of sixth at Salem in ARCA competition, coming in the fall race in 2012, but he has a history that goes further back in his racing career than his ARCA days.
“The track means a lot to me; it’s where I won my first Late Model race. I am very excited to partner up with MMM for the 100th ARCA race at Salem. They’ve had a lot of success at Salem in the past and I think together we will have a great run and be in contention for a win together.”
Mason Mitchell Motorsports has never won at Salem in their three-year ARCA tenure, but the No. 98 team has a record of two top-fives and three top-10s in five prior starts at the .555-mile oval, with a best finish of second by Mitchell in September of 2014.
See the finished No. 98 Team Construction/Kentucky 811 Chevrolet below.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Race Chaser Online: email@example.com
Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews