Locally based Hixson Motorsports is ready for Daytona as the 2019 racing season kicks off. The team, located in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, will have Willie Mullins, of Mullins Racing, behind the wheel of the No. 3 County Waste, Crow Wing Recycling, Bugsy’s Repair Ford.
Speedweeks kicks off a week before the Daytona 500 with the running of the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire at the famed speedway Saturday, February 9th with the Monster Energy NASCAR Clash following on Sunday the 10th. The two races cap off an entire weekend of broadcasting of shows and on-track practice sessions via Fox Sports 1 (FS1). It’s a race weekend that Mullins is excited to be part of with good reason.
During last year’s race the driver qualified ninth, dropped to the back to save his car,and then powered his way to a second-place finish behind winner Michael Self. More importantly is the fact that Mullins bested third-place finisher Sheldon Creed who went onto win the 2018 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards Championship. That’s not a bad showing for the first race of the year by a small team. Mullins says he has had some great times at the speedway.
“I’m really excited to get back down to Daytona,” Mullins said.“Last year we were just one spot short of our ultimate goal – winning! I’ve always loved Daytona and can’t wait to improve on last year with a checkered flag in my hands!”
According to Mullins speed will be essential as always but with tracks such as Daytona and Talladega things can get shuffled up quickly. But, after testing at the speedway in January, he thinks his 2019 run at Daytona will be a good one with the addition of a veteran NASCAR crew chief.
“I think we have a fast car this year,” Mullins said about the No. 3 Ford. “And bringing Tony Furr on as Crew Chief has really upped our game.”
Furr hit the NASCAR scene as a crew chief in 1994 and has two wins on his resume. Once came at Daytona with John Andretti and another with Jerry Nadeau at Atlanta. Furr has also worked with drivers including NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, Joe Nemechek, and Ward Burton. Most recently he was with the now shuttered Cup Series team BK Racing.
Crystal Bates of Hixson Motorsports say’s that teaming with Mullins Racing is fantastic.
“Willie is a great guy and driver,” Bates said. “He always puts 100 percent into his efforts and pushes everything he can get out of a car. His experience on everything from road courses to superspeedways and everything in between really shows when he’s behind the wheel.”
Mullins has competed in SCCA, NHRA drag racing and captured the SCCA V8 Grand National championship in 2006. He finished runner-up in the MARRS SPO standings in 2013 before capturing the MARRS SPO championship in 2014.Mullins has raced at Daytona several times over the years says it’s a special place.
“I got my start running with SCCA on the Daytona road course,” Mullins said while speaking about his fondness for Daytona. “I’ve run four ARCA races here and two on the road course in SCCA. So, this facility means a lot to me. And kicking of the race season here… at such a famous track. The history and fans – it’s always fun. Especially with us showing that a small family organization from Fredericksburg, Virginia can compete with the big teams.”
• 10:30 AM, MENCS Clash practice, FS1/FOX Sports GO
• 1:00 PM, MENCS Daytona 500 practice, FS1/FOX Sports GO
• 3:00 PM, MENCS Daytona 500 final practice, FS1/FOX Sports GO
• 4:45 p.m., ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire, FS1/FOX Sports Go
• 2:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1/FOX Sports Go
• 3:00 PM, MENCS Clash at Daytona, FS1/FOX Sports Go
• Live timing, scoring of ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire via www.ARCAracing.com.
• NASCAR – MRN Radio / SiriusXM & local affiliates.