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May 20, 2014 - 05:06 PM
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Win-Tron Racing; Mason Mingus's Solid Run Evaporates At Charlotte
Posted by: newsla on May 20, 2014 - 05:05 PM
NASCAR News
Win-Tron Racing; Mason Mingus's Solid Run Evaporates At Charlotte


Sunoco rookie of the year candidate Mason Mingus and his Win-Tron Racing team were having a solid outing in this past Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200, but a late-race incident evaporated the team’s chances at back-to-back top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

 

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For the second time in 2014, Mingus would carry backing from Mooresville, North Carolina-based MadVapes. In addition to Charlotte, the team also carried their colors in the season-opening event at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Entering the fourth race of the season, Mingus and his Mark Rette-led team relied on the results of a closed test session at the 1.5-mile speedway last month to give them a positive baseline for the first practice session on Thursday.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature had alternative motives. Severe weather impacted the area shortly before the start of practice, forcing NASCAR officials to postpone the session until Friday morning, when conditions improved.

During the two-hour session, Mingus and Rette struggled to find the handling niche of their No. 35 MadVapes Toyota Tundra, but made strides when the checkered flag was thrown putting the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team 22nd on the rundown.

With several hours until knockout qualifying, Mingus, Rette and other members of the Win-Tron Racing team conferred to discuss options to improve the comfort for their freshman driver on the track.

In time trials, Mingus battled hard to advance through round one, but was unable to post a lap quick enough to earn a spot in the final session, lining up the No. 35 MadVapes Toyota Tundra 22nd on the starting grid.

From the drop of the green flag, the Brentwood, Tennessee native methodically moved his way forward, despite continuing to battle handling woes.

By Lap 20, Mingus found himself hovering inside the top-20, when the first caution flag waived. Under the yellow, Rette informed his driver to come to pit road for tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.

When racing resumed on Lap 25, Mingus found himself settled in the 17th position, but found himself sliding back early in the run, riding in 21st when the second caution flag flew on Lap 28.

By Lap 40, Mingus throttled forward and found himself competing inside the top-20, but off the lead lap a short time later. Two cautions later though, Win-Tron Racing would become the beneficiary of the free pass, which put them back on the lead circuit.

Under the fourth caution of the night, Mingus would make a routine pit stop, where Rette would call for more adjustments to attempt to compensate for the ill-handling truck.
Racing resumed on Lap 79 with the No. 35 MadVapes Toyota Tundra in the 18th spot.

With the help of pit stops, fresh tires and attrition, Mingus would move into the 13th position over the next 34 circuits, but on a restart with 21 laps remaining, the teenager would become a victim in a crash when Ron Hornaday spun and slid into the path of Mingus and another competitor.

The impact of the crash was substantial, damaging the No. 35 MadVapes Toyota Tundra beyond repair. Mingus would be credited with a 20th place finish.

“The Charlotte race was definitely a tough one for us,” said Mingus. “I carried a little momentum from Kansas and felt like we had a decent truck. We struggled a little in the race with our No. 35 MadVapes Toyota Tundra, but Rette (Mark, crew chief) kept making solid adjustments and I thought we were going to be able to salvage another top-10 finish until the No. 30 wrecked in front of us.

“We really needed to get rid of the bad luck and put together a few strong finishes. I have to thank MadVapes and North Carolina 811 for all of their support. Hopefully, next time the cards will fall into our favor and we can get them a good finish.”

Exiting Charlotte, Mingus sits 17th in the championship standings, 23 markers from 10th place held by Darrell Wallace Jr. Mingus unofficially sits second in the Sunoco rookie of the year standings, behind current leader Ben Kennedy.

Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for the running of the Lucas Oil 200 on Friday, May 30.

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