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May 07, 2013 - 07:03 AM
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Talladega Delivers Career-Best Together For Mason Mingus And Win-Tron Racing
Posted by: newsla on May 07, 2013 - 07:02 AM
NASCAR News
Talladega Delivers Career-Best Together For Mason Mingus And Win-Tron Racing


While Mason Mingus wasn’t able to make a dent in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship lead, the Scott Rookie of the Year candidate was able to post a career-best finish in Friday afternoon’s rain-shortened International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

 

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Armed with the same No. 32 Diamond Equipment / Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Camry the team sported at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February, the Mark Rette-led team knew they were more than capable of capitalizing on their seventh-place season-opening effort.

In practice on Thursday afternoon, the Brentwood, Tennessee native locked the fourth fastest time overall, proving that the team’s pre-race testing paid off for Mingus’s debut at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

With little changes made to their No. 32 Diamond Equipment / Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Camry for qualifying, Mingus held the throttle wide-open during time trials hoping to secure a strong starting spot for his Mooresville, North Carolina-based team. With his quick lap of 53.787 seconds at 178.036 miles per hour, the High School senior landed on the front-row for the second time in 2013, timing in second. Additionally, he gained 10 championship bonus points for the effort.

Threating skies on Friday provoked different strategies for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards teams, including Win-Tron Racing, the defending champions of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250.

From the drop of the green flag, Mingus tried to inherit the lead from pole-sitter Milka Duno to no avail. A quick caution after one lap would settle the field down and prepare for a restart on lap five.

Teaming up with Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway Grant Enfinger, the duo would draft past Duno’s Toyota on lap eight and resume command of the race for 11 laps until Enfinger with drafting help dropped Mingus to second.

The Tennessean would remain tucked in the lead draft until the second caution flag waived on lap 28, running third. Under the yellow, Rette instructed his driver to head down pit road for fuel only. Mingus though made a familiar rookie mistake by overshooting his pit stall, costing the team valuable seconds. With service complete and an apology from Mingus, the team was determined to refocus and massage their way back to the front from ninth.

Immediately following the restart, the “big one” erupted with Mingus taking the high line to escape the carnage unscathed and sitting fifth.

When racing resumed, Mingus would power around Thomas Praytor and Matt Kurzejewski attached to the rear of points leader Frank Kimmel, chasing leader Josh Williams.
With Mother Nature set to strike, Mingus and Kimmel would strike together and draft past Williams on lap 44. Sitting in the runner-up spot, Mingus was timing his move to pounce on Kimmel and reclaim the top spot, but the caution flag would waive on lap 72 for rain.

Unfortunately, inclement weather would set in and force ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards officials to call the race, 21 laps short of its original distance of 94 circuits.

Mingus and his team would be credited with a runner-up position, which also was a career-best for the former ARCA / CRA competitor.

“We definitely didn’t want to finish behind Frank,” Mingus said. “But, we finished second to him and we lost as few points as we could. I definitely didn’t want to see the rain.” He added, “I’ve run on two superspeedways before, Daytona earlier this year and now here,” he said. “I learned a lot about superspeedway driving today. My spotter was in my ear a lot. It was another strong weekend for our team. I’m hoping it continues at Toledo (Speedway in a few weeks.”

Mingus’s runner-up finish in the fourth race of the season has further accelerated a strong-start for the Win-Tron Racing team, which has now included a pole, two top-fives and four top-10s. He remains second in the championship standings, 30 markers behind Talladega winner Kimmel.

Following his run, Mingus along with a slew of drivers participated in “Race Fever” on the Talladega Superspeedway grounds benefiting the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. Mingus mingled with fans, as well as posed for photos and signed autographs.

Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is a stop in the series’ backyard at Toledo Speedway for the running of the Menards 200 set for Sunday, May 19. The fifth race of the season will mark the teenager’s second start at the 0.5-mile oval.

Exiting Talladega, the 18-year old has 17 ARCA Racing Series races to his credit. During that tenure, he has acquired two top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes, including a second-place run at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in May 2013. Additionally, a pole run last month, also at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway is his best time trials effort to date.


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