TOLEDO, Ohio — Kyle Weatherman will make his 50th career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start when the tour returns to Iowa Speedway for the Fans With Benefits 150 on July 8.
The Wentzville, Missouri driver returns with Mason Mitchell Motorsports, appropriately enough, as it was Mitchell who denied Weatherman his first ARCA win at the seven-eighths-mile oval two years ago.
“I can’t think of a better track for me to make my 50th start at than Iowa,” said Weatherman. “Love the track, the facility … everything about that place is great. It doesn’t hurt that we run very well there either.”
“We’ve been as close as you can get without winning, so it’s time to seal the deal. I know my Mason Mitchell Motorsports team will prepare a car capable of winning.”
With or without MMM, Weatherman has been one of the most formidable drivers at Iowa over the years, finishing second to ARCA champion Grant Enfinger in his Iowa debut in 2013. He also finished second at Iowa in 2015.
As mentioned, his runner-up effort in 2015 came with a good bit of drama, when hometown hero Mitchell powered past Weatherman on the final lap to win the race.
Considering Mitchell hails from nearby West Des Moines, Iowa, it was one of the most popular wins in the annals of Iowa Speedway history, and certainly one of the most exciting.
However, it’s one that Weatherman always describes as “one that got away.”
Now, combine the two standout racers on the same side and you’ve got a recipe for a big story, not to mention a bona fide Victory Lane threat.
It doesn’t hurt that Iowa is one of Weatherman’s favorite race tracks.
“Iowa is so awesome,” said Weatherman. “It’s a very racy track. You can move around a lot and find out where you’re car is working the best. If the bottom isn’t working for you, you can move to the middle or right to the top.”
And that’s exactly what Weatherman did the night he finished second in 2013. With everyone tucked around the bottom line, Weatherman went right up to the wall to see what, if anything, was there.
Running the rim around a race track is certainly not anything new, except that at Iowa, it had not yet been done yet at that point.
“It was an accident at first,” Weatherman admits. “But then I kept doing it and found out our lap times were getting faster. We made it work and showed everyone that it was fast up there. Everybody knows it’s there now.”
“Most tracks have one good groove, maybe two at best,” Weatherman continued. “Iowa…different story. You’ve literally got four grooves you can work with. If your car isn’t working down here…no problem…just go up there. You can let the car sort out where it wants to be.”
As much as Weatherman loves the track though, he also says it’s a difficult track.
“It’s not an easy track by any stretch. It’s tough to get around but so much fun. It’ll always be one of my favorite tracks.”
Notably, if Weatherman can win the Iowa race, he would become the 11th different ARCA winner in 11 races at the track.
In 10 previous ARCA events at Iowa, dating back to the inaugural race in 2006, there have been no repeat winners. Steve Wallace won the first ARCA race at Iowa, and 2016 ARCA champion Chase Briscoe won the most recent.
Other ARCA winners at Iowa include Frank Kimmel (2007), Matt Hawkins (2008), Parker Kligerman (2009), Tom Hessert (2010), Ty Dillon (2011), Alex Bowman (2012), Enfinger and Mitchell.
CREDIT: ARCA Racing Series
Additional reporting by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman.