Nearly 40,000 fans got together to decided the 2010 Speed51.com / ARBodies.com Late Model Most Popular Driver by voting online. So it was very fitting that when all of the votes were counted up, it was a fan, who just happens to drive a racecar, that won the award.
PASS South pilot Trey Mitchell, who hails from Texas but currently attends the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, was the winner of the 2010 version of the award.
“I love winning and I love being competitive, but that's not everything to me. I just like being at the racetracks,” said Mitchell. “I love the smells, the sights and the sounds there. The number one thing for me is that I'm a race fan. That's why this award is so special. Nearly 40,000 people just like me voted to decide it.”
Mitchell has been in the mix for this award over the past few years. His votes would place him in the running each time, but just weren't good enough last year to put him in the company of 2009 Speed51.com / ARBodies Late Model Most Popular Driver Ross Kenseth. So Mitchell kept plugging along, and meeting more new fans, until this year when he was able to pull away to a sound victory in the competition.
“It is sure nice to finally win this,” said Mitchell. “It feels great. Every year, we get a little better in all kinds of ways with our racing program. We've found more consistency and are meeting more people. So to take that final step and win this award is great for us as a team.”
Mitchell has become known to short track fans for his efforts in the PASS South Super Late Model Series. Ironically, that choice of a racing home might have helped seal the deal for Mitchell to become this year's Most Popular Driver. PASS South holds special Meet and Greet sessions for fans to mingle with drivers during raceday at many of the tour's events. That exposure could have been a big help to Mitchell's cause.
“I think that the PASS meet and greets do help,” said Mitchell. “I'm from Texas and I race so far away from my home base. I learned to meet my first fans in Texas through meeting them at the track and now I've had to reach out to make my name known in new places. The meet and greets help because there are 20, 30 or 40 minutes at each race where I get to interact with the fans and get to see their faces.
“I love racing in PASS South. Everyone involved from the fans to the drivers to the teams to the officials are great. We are all there to win, but we also find time to socialize and be a big family. The competition is amazing too. I think that it is the premier Super Late Model series out there right now.”
Of course, Mitchell's charming personality didn't hurt either.
“I'm a pretty outgoing guy,” Mitchell said with a laugh. “I can fit in everywhere.”
The Most Popular Driver award might have been presented to Mitchell, but he is quick to share the credit.
“We are a hardworking family team. We don't have the biggest budget, but we do what we can,” said Mitchell.
With winning the award comes a new ABC “Package A” kit from ARBodies.com for Mitchell. He's already got big plans for that “trophy.”
“ARBodies is a great company,” said Mitchell. “It is pretty awesome for them to do this every year and to see it get stronger each time. I'm excited about winning the body. I love AR's products and we would be getting a new body from them this year even if we didn't win it. They are first and foremost in quality and it shows.
“We're going to do a theme change this year. We've been notorious for simple black cars, but because of this, we are going to switch it up a little bit. We're going with a red car this year.”
The staff at ARBodies.com can't wait to see that new ride in action.
"We are happy that a talented up and coming young racer like Trey Mitchell has won this Award this year,” said Jerry Criswell of ARBodies.com. “Our employees work hard to provide the ultimate in aerodynamics and sound race car body designs. At AR Bodies, we are all about winning and we have watched Trey's progress throughout the previous year in the PASS South Series and we feel he is ready to have a break out year in Super Late Model Racing in 2011. We are happy to have the opportunity to be a part of his race team in 2011 and help him achieve his goal. We wish Trey and his team the best in 2011 and we look forward to seeing him in Victory Lane with his new body from AR Bodies.”
AR Bodies has become an innovative leader in the ABC body field, which was developed several years ago to help create a uniform set of body rules for Late Model series and tracks throughout the country, while also offering the bodies at an economical price for racers.
For more information on AR Bodies, visit them online at www.arbodies.com.
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