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Oct 14, 2013 - 05:56 PM
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Podium Finish For Mason Mingus In Winchester 400
Posted by: newsla on Oct 14, 2013 - 05:52 PM
Podium Finish For Mason Mingus In Winchester 400

An impressive comeback for ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Mason Mingus came up just two positions short, with the Brentwood, Tennessee native finishing third in Sunday afternoon’s prestigious Winchester 400 Late Model event at the historic Winchester (Ind.) Speedway.


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Despite a poor qualifying effort in his sponsorless No. 98 Chevrolet Impala, the 18-year old methodically maneuvered his automobile through the field and despite maintaining a cautious attack on the field, by Lap 100, Mingus found himself closing in on the top-10.

Following a caution, Mingus had continued to inch his way forward, locking down the seventh spot by Lap 130. Just 12 laps later, the teenager joined a hefty four-car battle for fourth through seventh. A daring move on Lap 144 soared Mingus into the top-five.

When Chase Elliott spun on Lap 151, Mingus sat fourth on the leader board, with an extremely fast racecar. On the restart, he was quickly able to devour Travis Braden and moved his all-black bowtie into third, 170 laps into the annual fall classic.

A caution on Lap 176 allowed the leaders to come to pit road and quick work by the Mingus Motorsports team saw their driver leave pit lane in second.

On the restart, Mingus would have to fight to protect the second spot against Kyle Benjamin, as the two for several laps would swap the position, with Mingus taking sole control on Lap 194. Two laps later however, Benjamin, once again made the pass on Mingus dropping the Tennessean back to third, with the half-way mark quickly approaching.

Another caution flag waived just past Lap 200 setting up varying pit strategies, with Mingus electing to stay out and restart second to Benjamin.

It took Mingus just two laps following the Lap 225 restart in his No. 98 Mingus Motorsports Chevrolet to rattle the cage of his fellow ARCA driver to take control of the race. Mingus, who finished second in this year’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship point standings controlled the top-spot until Lap 244 when Erik Jones, driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports took the lead with an inside pass.

Mingus would continue to hold the runner-up position until Lap 273, when his motor began to sound ill. Still digging, Mingus would continue to hoist himself inside the top-three through the race’s final 100 Laps.

Despite his best effort, the loss of horsepower slid Mingus back in the running order, plummeting to eighth by Lap 333. Holding out for a caution for an opportunity to further diagnosis the issue, the miss in the motor fixed itself by Lap 350, quickly allowing Mingus to recharge and stomp back through the running order.

By Lap 364, Mingus had shoved himself back inside the top-five and by Lap 374, he made the move on Auggie Grill for third. Without a caution over the final 26 Laps, the former High School wrestler would run out of time to catch Erik Jones and Chase Elliott to contend for the win, taking the checkered flag in third, eclipsing his previous best finish of fourth, in the Winchester 400 in 2010.

“Unfortunately, we had a very poor qualifying run and had to start the race from 23rd,” explained Mingus. “On the upside, we had a really fast car, especially on the long runs and I was able to work my way through the field. After leading for a little while, we developed a miss and lost some track position.

“Suddenly and really without any warning it fixed itself and it was game on from there. We fought back to third, but just ran out of laps to contend for the win. I really think if not for the miss, we would have been right there with Erik (Jones) and Chase (Elliott) battling it out. I want to thank everyone on the Mingus Motorsports team for their help and support, we almost had it!

“We left the car blank for a reason, we need a sponsor for the Snowball Derby. Hopefully, someone noticed and we won’t be going to Pensacola in December bare.”

Next up for Mingus will be his return to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut driving the No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig / Mark-It! Madness Chevrolet Silverado for Win-Tron Racing. The fred’s 250 presented by Coca-Cola is set for Saturday, October 19 with live coverage on Fox Sports 1.

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