HUNTERSVILLE, NC – Darin Mock had one big goal he set for himself in the TA2 TransAm Series race at Virginia International Raceway this past weekend.
Get a top-10 finish.
And, that’s exactly what the 20-year-old driver did in his No. 51 AAN Adjusters Ford Mustang. He didn’t help himself in qualifying when a slight miscalculation in one of the turns messed him up and resulted in an 18th-place starting position.
“The car was really good in practice, really good,” Mock said. “The Mike Cope Racing Team did a great job getting our Ford Mustang ready for this race. I just put too much brake pressure going into the one turn and locked up the front brakes.
“Trust me, that was not my intention at all. But, we were able to make up for that once the race started.”
Once the green flag dropped, Mock put his knowledge of the track and great race car to good use and started picking off the competitors in front of him. During the march forward, the young driver even had a spirited battle with a road course ace and fan favorite.
“The car really came to life once the race started and I had a really great run going,” Mock said. “We were able to survive a lot of wrecks, the biggest occurred right in front of me in Turn 3 on the first lap.
“I had to check up and we lost a lot of spots right off the bat. If we would’ve got caught up in that one, it could have led to a different finish.”
As the race went on, Mock felt like the car was getting better and better with every lap. Nearing the top-10 cars, Mock realized who he was racing with and it was a cool moment for the young driver.
“At one point, I was running nose-to-tail with the one and only Boris Said,” Mock reflected. “I mean, what better driver can one ask for to compete against in a road race? The battle with Said lasted for 10 laps and it was incredible.
“I learned a lot following as I watched how he attacked the turns, drove into and out of them. The harder I raced, the more cars I passed and the car handled amazingly.
“In the end, we were able to get the top-10 finish we’ve been looking for the past few weeks. Great job by the team getting the car ready to race.”
This finish also provided a good boost to Mock’s confidence and gives the team great momentum as they get ready to race the first weekend of November at Circuit of the Americas in Texas. That will be the final race of the season.