GREENBRIER, Ark. – Jordon Mallett made the most of his sophomore campaign on the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour by finishing sixth in the championship standings, a three-spot improvement from his rookie season.
“The COVID-19 virus really put a big damper on the year, but we recovered to do fairly well and didn’t have a single DNF all year,” he said. “I think if we’d had more races to run we could have been more consistent, but we made the best of it and it wasn’t too bad considering the circumstances.”
Mallett’s best finish of the season on the tour was a second-place outing at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., in September during the 10th annual Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial.
He also scored finishes of fifth and seventh during the three nights of racing at the facility.
Other highlights included a fourth-place run at Caney Valley Speedway in Caney, Kan., in June and a fifth-place result at I-30 Raceway in Little Rock, Ark.
He climbed as high as third in the championship standings as well.
“There is always room for improvement, but looking back it was a solid effort,” he said. “Of course we want to win every night, but making sure our program is continuing to move upwards at the end of the year is the main goal and we did that for sure.
“It was really tough as every time you left the track you couldn’t be certain the next race on the schedule was even going to happen. It just made it really hard to plan and be fully invested in racing when there was so much going on worldwide.”
With COVID-19 causing ASCS National Tour race cancellations, Mallett was forced early in the season to find places to compete. As his team made the switch to Triple X Chassis in the offseason, Mallett needed to be able to build a notebook for when the series resumed.
As a result, he participated in the 15th annual United Sprint Car Series Speedweek, and on the heels of six consecutive top-five finishes, Mallett was able to capture the Speedweek championship for the first time in his career.
He finished second at Old No. 1 Speedway in Harrisburg, Ark.; third at Riverside Int’l Speedway in West Memphis, Ark.; third at Lexington (Tenn.) Speedway; third at North Alabama Speedway; third at Hattiesburg (Miss.) Speedway; and third at Jackson Motor Speedway in Byram, Miss.
Mallett was the only driver to finish on the podium each night.
“The Speedweek deal really allowed us to figure out our equipment at a time when we really needed to get some laps and learn,” he said. “To be sitting on the podium every night against talent like that was a huge confidence booster and made us feel really good about making the switch to Triple X.”
Mallett ended the hectic season with 13 top fives and 18 top 10s in only 32 races.
It marked an improvement from the 2019 season in both categories despite 10 fewer starts as a result of COVID-19.
“It’s definitely a bummer to not win any races, but when you look at the stats we improved from last year and I’m proud of that,” he said. “We lost a ton of racing this year and to improve like we did gives us some validation that we’re moving in the right direction long-term.”