Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.) will find himself in pursuit of a title as he tackles the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship schedule for the first time in 2023 aboard the Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports No. 19AZ. (David Nearpass photo)
SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Just before the start of his second season on the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship trail, Mitchel Moles embarks on a week-long hunting expedition.
During the 2023 season, the Raisin City, Calif., native will find himself in the hunt for a championship as he tackles the entire series schedule for the first time aboard Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports’ No. 19AZ.
Moles is coming off a stellar rookie USAC Sprint Car season last year, becoming a first-time series winner last July at South Dakota’s Huset’s Speedway and again later that month for his inaugural USAC Indiana Sprint Week triumph at Lincoln Park Speedway.
The towering 6’3″ tall Moles quickly gained notice with his consistently touching qualifying runs, tallying eight fast times in 2022, the most ever by a USAC National Sprint Car Rookie.
Moles’ 11th place in the series points was not quite indicative of his performance in the past season, as he only started in May. Along the way, Moles appeared in just 27 of the 39 events, and in that time frame, the 23-year-old former professional bass fishing extraordinaire led 107 laps and collected six top-fives and 19 top-tens.
Now, with a calendar year of USAC races under his belt, Moles is ready to tackle his biggest challenge with the series yet – a pursuit of the national title in the seat of the same team that won the 2019 series entry title with driver CJ Leary.
“It’s definitely always been a dream of mine to be able to do this,” Moles said. “I’ve never really driven for points in a sprint car before at any level, so it will be cool. (Team owner) Andy (Reinbold) and I click very well together and as always our goal is to win and not settle for anything less. We’re trying to win to win a championship, and that’s our goal.”
While the majority of Moles’ finest performances came at larger-scale tracks, he showed plenty of signs of brilliance in the quarter-miles as he got his feet wet with the series, finishing in the top-five in both the Gas City (3rd ) and Kokomo (5th). Among his goals in the coming year, however, is to find more consistency in all facets, especially in “bullrings.”
After several seasons in winged sprint cars and microsprints, the lessons were learned in droves during Moles’ first USAC foray, and he experienced a plethora of scenarios from the triumphant variety to the frustration common in year one. Now, heading into year two, Moles is ready to take the next step to becoming a well-rounded racer that can excel at any challenge anywhere, anytime.
“Non-winged cars are then powered by the throttle,” Moles explained. “Sometimes wide open doesn’t. A lot of times it works during qualifying, but after that it takes a little time and it took me a little time to learn. I just have to work on getting better overall more than anything else. My goal is not being good at the fast half miles that I’m better at, my goal is to be good at everything. That’s what Justin (Grant) does and that’s what Brady (Bacon) and CJ (Leary) do .
“They’re good at all of them, and that’s why they’re national champions. You have to be good all the time, not half the time.”
Moles will make his 2023 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship debut with a weeklong stint in Florida during the month of February, starting with a pair of non-points special events at Volusia Speedway Park on the 13th-14th. February, followed by the first three points race of the year at Bubba Raceway Park on the 16th-18th. February.
“I just want to hammer the thing and get going,” Moles exclaimed. “Andy has given me great things with Stanton Engines and Spike Chassis giving us everything we need and I can’t thank him enough for the opportunity. I just want to try to have as much fun as possible and win some races.”