Change was in order for Mini Tyrrell.
Only one Top 10 through five races on the 2021 CARS Tour schedule convinced him to form a partnership with R&S Race Cars beginning with Saturday’s 125-lap feature at Langley Speedway.
The new alliance immediately paid off for Tyrrell, as he ended up recording his best finish of the season with a sixth.
“It was a pretty good night for us,” Tyrrell said. “Justin Johnson, Marcus Richmond and Jason Stanley did everything they could to get us to the track and I sincerely appreciate that. We had a great car but just didn’t have enough to get back up there with the leaders.”
After seeing the success that Johnson, Nelson Motorsports and several other teams have had through partnerships with R&S, Tyrrell reached out to the company with the hope of improving his own program.
The two sides came together on an agreement but the quick turnaround meant that Tyrrell’s new car from R&S would not be ready in time for Langley this weekend.
It would not take long before Tyrrell managed to secure a car for Langley from Johnson, which gave him confidence in his ability to shake off the early-season inconsistency and bring home a solid finish.
“It was very nice of Justin to let us rent that car,” Tyrrell said. “I believe it was the same car that Bubba Pollard drove at Orange County Speedway, so it’s a great piece and it was a pleasure to drive it.”
Tyrrell admitted that the car provided by Johnson was far different than any he had driven in his career but he felt comfortable with his new ride as soon as he turned a few laps in practice.
A lap of 15.774 in qualifying put Tyrrell fourth out of 20 cars in the starting lineup. He managed to climb as high as third but did not believe he had anything for his two teammates in Johnson and winner Kaden Honeycutt.
“Kaden’s car was really good,” Tyrrell said. “I was just trying to ride the best I could but the car got tight on me there towards the end. I hurt the tires too bad trying to keep up with everything but if I had done that a little better, I might have been third or second.”
Although he was slightly disappointed by his finish, Tyrrell was more than happy to leave Langley with a sixth place finish after struggling to keep pace with his competition to begin the year.
Tyrrell said that his expectations for the rest of 2021 will be much higher now that his program is aligned with R&S Race Cars.
“There’s no point in going for a championship now,” Tyrrell said. “We want to go ahead and get ourselves a win. We’ve been on the struggle bus but hopefully we’re reaching a turning point.”
Tyrrell believes that he can make another change and finally break through for his first win in two weeks at Dominion Raceway, which was the site of his career-best CARS Tour finish of second last year.