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Iowa native Mitchell seeks return to Victory Lane at Iowa Speedway

Jun. 9—West Des Moines native Mason Mitchell remembers attending the very first race at Iowa Speedway when he was 12 years old.

Winning the ARCA Series race at Iowa Speedway in 2015 was one of his favorite moments as a driver.

Mitchell's race team, Mason Mitchell Motorsports, ceased operations in 2018, but the 2014 ARCA Series championship winner has returned to racing recently and hopes to win another ARCA Series event at Iowa Speedway on Friday night.

"It means a lot to be able to come back here and race at my home track," Mitchell said. "It just feels right. I've always had a connection to the fans there. It's a special place."

Mitchell, who graduated from West Des Moines Valley in 2012, was a driver and team owner in ARCA from 2012 to 2018. He compiled 55 wins as a driver and seven victories as team owner.

Now 29 years old, Mitchell has resurfaced recently with Sigma Performance Services and team owner Joe Farre.

Mitchell competed in two dirt races in 2022 and scored seven wins during a full season of dirt in 2023.

His 2024 schedule includes two ARCA platform events plus another full slate of dirt racing.

He competed in the ARCA Menards Series West MMI Oil Workers 150 earlier this season and placed 18th. He had engine issues and only completed 58 laps.

The second ARCA platform event is this weekend's Atlas 150 at Iowa Speedway.

"We had some mechanical stuff go wrong for us at that first ARCA race," Mitchell said. "I'm trying to control the things I can control. I think my maturity, confidence and mentality will help me at Iowa. I will rely on my championship experience and my ability as a driver."

Mitchell agreed to the two ARCA Series events before NASCAR announced its schedule and return to the 7/8-mile oval. But knowing it's a full weekend with the first NASCAR Cup Series race on deck, Mitchell wants to be a part of the event even more now.

"The stars just aligned for us," Mitchell said. "It's going to be electric there. I love that place. The Sigma Performance Services team leaves no stone unturned. They have a no excuses mindset. I just need to perform to the best of my ability."

The ARCA Series Atlas 150 at Iowa Speedway is the seventh of 20 races on the schedule this season and the fifth out of eight races on the ARCA Series East slate.

Eight drivers have eclipsed 200 points in the standings. The top five are Andres Perez (273), Greg Van Alst (257), Amber Balcaen (240), Lavar Scott (236) and Kris Wright (234). Not too far behind are Christian Rose (226), Andy Jankowiak (223) and Toni Breidinger (221).

The top eight in the standings have completed all six races. Michael Maples and Alex Clubb are two other drivers who have finished the six races.

The wins have come from Tanner Gray, Gus Dean, Jake Finch, Connor Mosack, William Sawalich and Connor Zilisch.

Zilisch is currently the ARCA Series East points leader, while Sawalich is second. Sawalich also finished second at last year's event, while Breidinger and Scott were in the top five.

Perez's 23-point lead at the top of the standings comes with top 10 finishes in five of the six races.

The ARCA Series Atlas 150 starts a three-day weekend full of racing. The green flag is slated to drop at 7 p.m. on Friday.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Hy-Vee Perks 250 is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The NASCAR Cup Series Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol will be under the lights starting at 6 p.m. on Sunday.