Mirror Images: Pro Late Model Drivers Mason Mitchells Share Name, Other Similarities
Will the real Mason Mitchell please stand up?
That’ll be a little difficult at this year’s Allen Turner Snowflake 100, the preamble to the prestigious Snowball Derby.
There’s sure to be a serious case of mistaken identity in the Five Flags Speedway pits with not one, but two Mason Mitchells in the Pro Late Models field come Dec. 3.
In one of the strangest coincidences in the Derby’s 44-year history, two drivers of no relation and who know virtually nothing of the other will try to qualify for the ’Flake.
“It’s crazy. I can’t believe it,” Houston native Mason Mitchell said, describing his initial reaction to the weird news. “You gotta be kidding me. No way. How could that be? I might have to change my name.”
“I’ve never met him, never raced with him,” said Mason Mitchell, a West Des Moines, Iowa, native. “It’ll be interesting to see how it goes. It’ll be weird if we finish or start next to each other.”
The Mason Mitchells along with the nation’s elite short-track drivers will descend on the famed half-mile, asphalt oval for Snowball Derby week that officially kicks off Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Bombers and Sportsmen will compete for their respective Derby titles Thursday, Dec. 1. Super Stocks and Modifieds battle Friday, Dec. 2 with the late models taking center stage on the weekend.
And in two of the leading roles will be a pair of drivers, who share more than just a name and the limelight.
Both are up-and-coming Pro Late Model hotshoes. Both are teenagers with the Houston version a year older at 18.
Even their car numbers are similar. The Iowan sports 55 while the Texan boasts 57.
A quick Google search will yield a pair of web sites with the same “Mason Mitchell Racing” moniker. There is a unique difference, though.
“I stole the ‘.com’ before he did,” said the Houston Mitchell of his Iowa counterpart. “He went to ‘.net.’ ”
Although, he did notice another shared characteristic.
“We have the same driver’s suit,” the Houston Mitchell said.
They do not share the same middle name for those wondering. Mason Norris Mitchell recently graduated from Cy-Fair High School just outside of Houston while Mason Aaron Mitchell is a senior in West Des Moines.
While they both do have experience at Five Flags, Mason N. Mitchell is a bit more familiar. He raced three times in the Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series this year, posting a pair of top 15s.
“We could’ve done better,” he said. “We need to be dialed in for (Snowflake) qualifying. My main goal is to make the show. There’ll be a big difference in how the track handles compared to the season because of the cold weather.”
Mason A. Mitchell came to Pensacola as a 14 year old in 2008 and tried to qualify for the Snowflake, but wrecked during time trials.
“Obviously, we had troubles in qualifying, but other than that, it was fun,” Mason A. Mitchell remembered. “Now, I have a couple of more years under our belts to where hopefully I’ll be in contention to win the race.
“I am confident because in order to perform well you have to have a confident mindset.”
The two Mason Mitchells share another thing. Their appreciation and reverence for the Snowflake 100 and the entire week that is the Snowball Derby.
“I definitely have butterflies, and I’m pretty sure there will be even more once the race gets here,” Mason N. Mitchell said. “If I can finish in the top 10 or better I’d be thrill.”
Not surprisingly, the other has a similar goal.
“If I couldn’t get the win,” Mason A. Mitchell said, “a top five would be great. A top three would be right there and on the podium.”
And what a story it would be if both of the real Mason Mitchells were standing up, next to each other on that podium on what could be a magical Saturday night.