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Aug 12, 2013 - 07:35 PM
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Mason Mingus; Win-Tron Racing Recover For Runner-Up Finish At Berlin Raceway
Posted by: newsla on Aug 12, 2013 - 07:29 PM
NASCAR News
Mason Mingus; Win-Tron Racing Recover For Runner-Up Finish At Berlin Raceway


Not even an early race spin with championship rival Frank Kimmel could detour a top-five finish for Mason Mingus and his Win-Tron Racing team in Saturday night’s Primera Plastics 200 at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway.

 

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Even though, the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team struggled with the handling of their No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig / Diamond Equipment Toyota Camry throughout the day and night, Mingus’s determination persevered allowing the 18-year old driver to tie his career-best finish in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for the third time in 2013.

After producing the 10th quickest lap in the first practice session at the track’s unique 0.4-mile paved oval, Mingus and former champion crew chief Mark Rette made adjustments to their automobile, including a mock qualifying run, which soared the freshman combination to second fastest overall in the second and final practice run of the day.

In time trials, the Brentwood, Tennessee native laid down a extremely competitive lap, but wound up third quickest overall, achieving his eighth top-three start of the year. More importantly, though, Mingus earned five championship points towards the title chase.

From the drop of the green flag, Mingus remained in-line with pole sitter Mason Mitchell and hometown favorite Erik Jones. Mingus’s night, however, took an interesting turn on lap 34 as Kimmel found himself on the back bumper of the No. 32. As the two approached turn three, contact was made sending Mingus around and waiving the first of four yellow flags of the night. Under the caution, Mingus pulled away from the scene virtually unscathed, but now mired deep in the lead lap traffic.

Up for any challenge and with the attitude to “never give up”, Mingus found himself having to fight back from the bottom of the top-10 competitors to sixth by lap 41. As the race pressed on, Mingus held his own, flirting with a position back inside the top-five, before pit stops were made following a caution for a spin involving Justin Lloyd.

Under the yellow, a strong stop by the Win-Tron Racing team found themselves gaining positions in the pits, advancing to fourth, but restarting fifth as ARCA veteran Bobby Gerhart remained on the track.

On the lap-75 restart, Mingus made quick work of Gerhart. At the half-way point, Mingus found himself sitting comfortably in fourth, but in conservation mode.

Through the second-half, Mingus slowly began to put the pressure on Justin Boston for third and eventually Kimmel for the runner-up spot, before taking command of second with about 70 laps remaining.

Settled in second, Mingus turned his attention towards catching the leader, Jones, who took commanding control of the event after passing pole sitter Mitchell early. A caution approaching lap 144 allowed the gap to evaporate, but also send the leaders to pit road for the final time.

Another firm pit stop by the Win-Tron Racing team kept their driver in the runner-up spot with a fifty lap shootout on deck. Despite his best efforts, Mingus would have nothing for the dominate Jones, taking the checkered flag in second, 1.363 seconds behind the first-time winner.

Mingus, also finished second at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and Toledo Speedway earlier this year respectively.

“There is always a little disappointment in finishing second, because we were so close and just couldn’t get it done in the end. However, overall, I’m happy with our performance at Berlin. We had to overcome quite a bit, we unloaded off the trailer really bad, struggling, but as they always do, the Win-Tron Racing team worked incredibly hard all day to give me what turned out to be a really fast race car.”

The leading SCOTT rookie of the year contender continued, “We fired off in the race really well, but we ended up getting caught up in a racing incident with Frank (Kimmel) and spun and had to fight back from that. We recovered nicely, the pit stops kept us in contention, but our No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig / Diamond Equipment Toyota Camry became a little too tight there at the end and after losing even more distance in lap traffic, we just didn’t have anything in the end for the 15 (Jones).”

Unofficially, Mingus stands 195 markers behind Frank Kimmel in the championship point standings with seven races remaining.

Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the first of two events on dirt this year. The annual running of the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 from the Illinois State Fairgrounds, otherwise known as Springfield, is set for Sunday, August 18. Last year, Mingus finished eighth after starting eighth in his dirt debut at Springfield.

Exiting The Great Lakes state, the Tennessean has 27 ARCA Racing Series races to his credit. During that tenure, he has acquired four top-fives and 20 top-10 finishes, including second-place runs at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Toledo Speedway and Berlin (Mich.) Raceway in August 2013. Additionally, a pole run at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway in March, is his best time trials effort to date.


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