“We did it bud.”
Those were the words Timmy Tyrrell told his son Mini Tyrrell when he finally pulled his No. 81 Chevrolet into CARS Tour victory lane at Tri-County Speedway on Saturday evening.
The path towards obtaining that first career win has involved many long nights for Mini and his family, which is why he had trouble finding the correct words while processing his accomplishment.
“I’m speechless,” Mini said. “I’ve waited long enough to win one of these races. We needed a great car and I think we had the best car here. The high line tonight was untouchable and this is truly an amazing feeling.”
— CARS Tour (@CARSTour) September 12, 2021
Putting together complete races was the one obstacle that prevented Mini from winning over the past couple of years.
Traditionally a solid qualifier, Mini either struggled to find the consistent speed he needed to keep his car up front or would be taken out of a race early due to circumstances outside of his control.
Mini and Timmy sought to fix this inconsistency by forming a partnership with R&S Race Cars starting at Langley Speedway. The speed Mini showed in qualifying began to match his race pace, as he tallied two consecutive sixth place finishes before leading 62 laps in the Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Although he ended up fading to fourth in that race, Mini learned plenty of lessons about tire conservation that he planned to utilize when the CARS Tour visited the equally-abrasive Tri-County located just over 20 miles away.
All of the adversity Mini and his crew experienced culminated into the best performance of his young career at Tri-County, even as he waited for something to go wrong while maintaining a 2.5 second lead over Sam Yarbrough coming to the white flag.
“The confidence hasn’t been all that great up to this point,” Mini said. “We had some bad finishes and didn’t even make it past the stripe at Motor Mile but Brandon Butler puts his heart and soul into making this car go fast. All of the people that get the car to the track are the ones I can’t thank enough.”
An emotional Timmy embraced Mini as he climbed out of the car. He admitted that many sacrifices have gone into producing top-quality cars for Mini and said that seeing his son finally celebrate a CARS Tour win was one of the proudest moments of his life.
“You have no understanding of how hard it is just to get to a race track some days and make this happen for [Mini],” Timmy said. “There have been days where we barely have enough money to put in our truck to get here. It’s hard, but to have this celebration with everyone here in the pits is just incredible.”
While Mini wanted to get that elusive first win sooner, he said that experiencing issues with consistency helped him mature as a driver and get more comfortable with taking calculated risks when the green flag dropped.
Experience kept Mini composed as he moved his car to the top groove, which helped him run down and pass Mike Looney for the lead after losing it early in the race.
Mini never anticipated Tri-County to widen out in the manner it did but he is eager to run more events at the facility in the near future if drivers are able to regularly use multiple grooves.
“Tri-County is my new favorite race track,” Mini said. “This place is a blast. The fact that any of us were able to go up that high was completely unexpected. When I went up there, the car was twice as good as it was on the bottom and that helped us get around Mike [Looney].”
Mini intends to remember the first CARS Tour win for the rest of his life along with all of the struggles associated with turning his Late Model program into a race-winning organization.
Now that he knows how to find victory lane, Mini has every reason to believe that more celebrations with his dad are inevitable.
1. Mini Tyrrell
2. Sam Yarbrough
3. Bobby McCarty
4. Kaden Honeycutt
5. Jared Fryar
6. Jonathan Shafer
7. Justin Johnson
8. Mike Looney
9. Stephen Nasse
10. Carter Langley
11. Joe Valento
12. Conner Jones
13. Brandon Pierce
14. Deac McCaskill
15. Mason Diaz
16. Tyler Matthews
17. Mitch Walker
18. Braden Rogers
19. Layne Riggs
20. Jonathan Findley
21. Isaac Bevin
22. Dillon Houser
Read more Short Track Scene:
- What’s the Difference Between a Super Late Model and a Late Model Stock?
- Hoosier, American Racer Urging Caution With Tires
- At Bowman Gray Stadium, a Return to Normal in Unnormal Times