Mitchell DeJong Youngest to Win
Traxxas TORC Off-Road Series
Temecula, California teen, Mitchell DeJong is breaking records and making history again by being the youngest ever to start and win at the Traxxas TORC Off-Road Racing Series, last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.
With a last minute decision by his team and sponsors, Mitchell and his skeleton crew took to the road, driving 2400 miles to the heart of NASCAR country to bring local off-road fans and millions of LIVE televised SPEED channel viewers wheel-to-wheel, high flying, dirt flinging racing from The Dirt Track of Charlotte Motor Speedway.
As the team arrived in Charlotte, 14 year old Mitchell was greeted with open arms as the word began to spread about an 8-Time champ "kid" from California who was set to make history as the youngest racer to ever start a USAC sanctioned Traxxas TORC event. As the media and local television interviews started, Mitchell found himself happy to share how excited he was to have the opportunity to race amongst such great drivers at The Dirt track.
Before qualifying, Mitchell was able to meet and talk with two of his racing heroes, 5-time NASCAR champions Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus. Knowing that Jimmie Johnson started his racing roots in off-road racing, Mitchell was on cloud-nine sharing his goals with Jimmie in hopes he can swap door paint on the pavement with him some day.
When Friday's qualifying session started, Mitchell drove the #24 Traxxas / Red Bull Super Buggy through each lap searching for the fast race lines. Mitchell blew eyes wide open as he found the hottest lines and separated himself from the qualifying field with a blistering 2 second lead for the pole-position.
With Michell's inverted position at 4th on the line, he put the Kroyer Racing / K&N powerplant to the test when the green flag dropped. With some jockeying, checking and sliding for position, #24 and his FOX suspension made extra time on the field through the rough bump sections overtaking the top-spot from a fast 4-wheel drive buggy. From that point forward Mitchell checked-out and the only race left was for second place. The Traxxas Red Bull athlete was in another world finishing the race 18 seconds ahead of the second place finisher, making him the youngest winner in USAC Traxxas TORC Series history.
In similar fashion, Saturday's Round 2 race was looking like a weekend sweep with Mitchell moving to the front and stretching his lead even further. Suddenly the #24 lost power relinquishing the lead and chances for another victory. It was quickly determined after the race that a $10 alternator belt had jumped track causing the fastest Super Buggy of the weekend to give-up the podium finish.