After being part of a championship winning team last year, Ethan Mitchell is gunning for an Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota championship of his own in 2023.
The Bundy Built Motorsports #19M is heading back out on the road with Mitchell in the driver’s seat, chasing back-to-back Xtreme titles for the team his dad built.
Mitchell, 21, of Mooresville, NC, his father Bundy Mitchell, and crew member Brian Garlow have readied their Spike Chassis with Bundy Built power in between the frame for one of the team’s biggest ventures.
“I’m super excited about this season,” Mitchell said. “I have more confidence going into this season than I’ve ever had.”
Their decision comes in the wake of a successful first season with the Xtreme Outlaws, clinching the inaugural points title with Zach Daum – who piloted the team’s second car, which Mitchell helped work on. While Daum has since vacated his spot, Mitchell is more focused than ever on chasing the championship for himself.
“Expectations are high, I’d say,” Mitchell said. “Last year, we had a good year with Zach [Daum]. I had a good year myself, too; I’m not shortcutting myself by any means. We didn’t have as many podiums or top finishes as Zach had, but he’s a seasoned driver, and I’m a newbie compared to him (entering his fifth full-time season in a dirt Midget).
“I’m very happy with where our team is, our equipment, engine program… everything.”
Mitchell already has plenty of laps down in 2023, kicking off the year racing in Auckland, NZ, against the best Kiwi drivers at Western Springs Speedway before his annual appearance at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, OK, in January.
All eyes for he and Bundy Built now turn to the Xtreme Outlaw season opener at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, IL, March 10-11. It’s a tight, 1/6-mile oval that offers a challenge to even the most experienced indoor racers – one Mitchell has seen before but has yet to conquer.
While Du Quoin has been only a one-time stop to him, the same cannot be said about several other venues on the Xtreme Outlaw schedule. More specifically, Millbridge Speedway, where the Series returns for another two-day event in May. A similar 1/6-mile in size to Du Quoin, Millbridge was Mitchell’s proving ground, beginning his career in Outlaw Karts at 10 years old.
Millbridge was also the site of Mitchell’s first career Xtreme Outlaw podium finish last year, where he gained seven spots in 40 laps on his drive from 10th to third.
“I think I’ll be good there,” Mitchell said. “It’s such a small racetrack, it’s hard to gain an advantage. So, I don’t know if my strong suits at Millbridge will play a factor there. But I’m super excited about Millbridge; I think I should be as good as anybody.”
Since the dawn of his career at Millbridge, Mitchell and his father have been building and maintaining some of their own equipment at their shop in Mooresville. Bundy has long been an engineer of racing engines and has built his son’s engines throughout their Midget career together.
Mitchell said he takes pride in the work they do over other teams and drivers with large financial backings and development programs. And while he has made friends with many of them over the years, he prefers the challenge he and his father take on to remain a true home-grown team.
“The amount of work it takes to build your own stuff and be as competitive as those guys, it’s worth the price they ask,” Mitchell said. “We can’t do it, so therefore I don’t compare myself to those guys. It’s a totally different ballgame.”
He comes into this season still on the hunt for his first national Midget Feature win. But with a bit of Bundy Built magic, he’s confident 2023 is the year he breaks through to Victory Lane.
“Last year, toward the end of the year, we had a ton of solid finishes, a ton of speed, multiple Quick Times, a couple track records,” Mitchell said. “Everything’s falling into place. It’s taken a lot longer than I expected and wanted it to, but it’s falling in place, and I think this year is the year to show it.”
Don’t miss Mitchell and Bundy Built Motorsports take on the entire Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota schedule in 2023. Tickets to events are on sale now at XtremeOutlawSeries.com, or stream every lap live on DIRTVision.