By Brian Eberly, Contributing Writer
Kyle Weatherman has signed with Mason Mitchell Motorsports for 10 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series schedule, the team announced on Wednesday. Weatherman will pilot the No. 78 Chevrolet for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway and will compete in the next three races at Nashville, Salem and Talladega. The remaining races for the 19-year-old driver will be Pocono, Michigan, Iowa, Chicagoland, Kentucky and Kansas.
Weatherman was the 2015 SCOTT Rookie of the Year in the ARCA Racing Series, winning at New Jersey Motorsports Park and recording 10 top-five finishes in 15 starts with Cunningham Motorsports.
For 2016, Weatherman signed with Lira Motorsports to run the full-season and compete for the championship. However, the team ceased competition in the ARCA Series after just eight of the 20 races and left Weatherman looking for a ride. The Wentzville, Mo. native ran the next two races at Madison and Winchester with Mason Mitchell Motorsports and competed in just five of the last 10 events of 2016 with his family-owned team.
“Knowing we had two very solid races with MMM last year tells me that if I do my job correctly we should have ten chances of winning,” Weatherman said via a team release. “Knowing that all of these guys have worked together is great; they know each other well and will work together to accomplish the same goal – and that’s to make fast race cars and win races.”
Weatherman finished second at Madison and third at Winchester last season while competing for MMM and the organization has made off-season changes to improve their team for 2017. 2014 ARCA Racing Series champion and owner Mason Mitchell and veteran crew chief Kevin Reed have sole control of MMM with Reed overseeing the day-to-day competition operations and serving as lead crew chief while at the track. Reed will call the shots for Weatherman in nine of his 10 races and work with driver Quin Houff at Daytona.
Mitchell continues to manage the day-to-day duties while providing experienced coaching at the track as well as focusing on driver development and development inside the shop.
In three full-time seasons, MMM has recorded six wins and five poles in addition to the 2014 championship.
“This is a great opportunity for MMM to add a talent like Kyle to our 2017 lineup,” owner Mason Mitchell stated. “We know the level of talent that Kyle brings every week. We were able to work with him for a few races last season. We look to build upon what he’s already done and win multiple races.”
Along with teammates Houff and Kaz Grala, the Mason Mitchell organization will field three cars in an event for just the second time since the team began operations in 2014 when they hit the track at Daytona. The team will compete in a test session this weekend at the iconic 2.5-mile track in advance of the series returning for the season-opening Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire on Saturday, February 18.