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Oct 08, 2013 - 04:55 PM
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Mason Mingus; Win-Tron Racing Recover For Top-10 Finish At Kansas Speedway
Posted by: newsla on Oct 08, 2013 - 04:52 PM
NASCAR News
Mason Mingus; Win-Tron Racing Recover For Top-10 Finish At Kansas Speedway


Win-Tron Racing and SCOTT Rookie of the Year candidate Mason Mingus gave it their all during Friday night’s Kansas Lottery 98.9 at Kansas Speedway, but once again circumstances beyond the team’s control hindered their opportunity to capitalize in the season finale.

 

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Mingus and his Mark Rette-led team approached the 21st and final race of the season with an “all or nothing” attitude, with the championship officially out of reach and a comfortable cushion for the runner-up position in the point standings, the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team felt they had nothing to lose in Mingus’s Kansas City debut.

After struggling for grip in their No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig / Mark-It! Madness Toyota Camry, which resulted in only the 10th quickest lap overall in the only practice session of the day, Friday morning, Mingus and Rette bounced ideas off each other, hoping that they would find an adequate setup for qualifying and the race, some six and a half hours later.

In time trials, Mingus throttled his No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig / Mark-It! Madness Toyota Camry, decked out in florescent pink to show the team’s support towards Breast Cancer awareness month to the 10th fastest run.

Optimistic about the handling of their automobile and with severe weather approaching the speedway, the Win-Tron Racing team knew they had to further accelerate their “all or nothing” plan.

When the green flag dropped, the field scattered and Mingus found himself quickly on the move. By the completion of lap five, the teenager had gained five spots and battling his championship rival Frank Kimmel for a spot inside the top-five.

Through the early stages of the Kansas Lottery 98.9, Mingus kept his No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig / Mark-It! Madness Toyota Camry inside the top-five, until the first caution flag waived on lap 18, when the two leaders of Scott Lagasse Jr. and Corey Lajoie collided.

Riding in third at the time of the caution, Rette elected to keep his rookie driver on the race track for the lap 23 restart. Almost immediately, Mingus felt pressure from his competition, but through lap 28, Mingus kept them at bay.

Unfortunately, the time inside the top-half of the field would be short lived as while running quietly, but consistently in the fourth position, a lapped car spun in front of Mingus squeezing him into the turn four wall and causing significant damage to the No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig / Mark-It! Madness Toyota Camry on lap 35.

Immediately, Rette called for damage control, but remained confident that he was going to keep his rookie driver on the lead lap. He stayed true to his word, as a valid team effort allowed the veteran organization to stay in the battle.

After starting 15th on the lap 39 restart, Mingus hustled his way forward the best he could, despite maneuvering a less than perfect handling racecar, the 18-year old stayed focused and began picking off his competitors one at a time, launching himself back into the top-10 just two laps later.

On lap 55, ARCA Racing Series officials informed the teams that only 10 laps would remain in the originally scheduled 99-lap event because of approaching severe weather.

With the message delivered to the driver, Mingus fought to maintain his placement inside the top-10. When the checkered flag waived, the former High School wrestling champion was able to advance one position; credited with a ninth-place run and his 18th top-10 effort of the year.

“We had a pretty fast No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig / Mark-It! Madness Toyota Camry,” said Mingus. “Unfortunately, we were collected in a spin with a lapped car and we had to dig ourselves out of a hole. Even after fixing the damage the best they could, we were moving our way forward, but just ran out of laps to get the finish I think we were capable of. We really needed the race to go all 99 laps to see how everything was going to shake out, but obstacles out of our hands stopped that from happening. It’s just the way it goes in racing, sometimes.”

In his bid to claim the SCOTT Rookie of the Year honors, Mingus fell a few points short of overtaking Justin Boston for the title.

Overall, Mingus’s freshman season in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards was a solid one. With 21 starts, five top-fives and 18 top-10s, the consistency that the Win-Tron Racing team showed will only give them more momentum towards the 2014 season, set to begin at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February.

Mingus added, “I’m really proud of the team. We gave it our all towards the championship and came up a little short. Overall, the season was good. Even though we didn’t score a win, we won poles, led laps and contended for victories. We’ll use the off-season to strengthen our program even more and hope for an even better year when Daytona rolls around in February. I want to especially thank Call 811 Before You Dig, Diamond Equipment, and Mark-It! Madness for their support. Without them, this season would not have been possible.”

Next up for the Mingus and the Win-Tron Racing team is their debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Saturday, October 19. Mingus will pilot the No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig / Mark-It! Madness Chevrolet Silverado.

Exiting The Sunflower State, the Tennessean has 34 ARCA Racing Series races to his credit. During that tenure, he has acquired five top-fives and 25 top-10 finishes, including second-place runs at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Toledo Speedway and Berlin (Mich.) Raceway in August 2013. Additionally, two pole runs at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway (March 2013) and Iowa Speedway (September 2013), is his best time trials effort to date.



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