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Jul 01, 2014 - 06:15 AM
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2014 Kentucky: Mason Mingus NASCAR Truck Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Jul 01, 2014 - 06:13 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Kentucky: Mason Mingus NASCAR Truck Race Recap


The 19th place finish wasn’t exactly what Sunoco rookie of the year contender Mason Mingus and his Win-Tron Racing team were hoping for in this past Thursday night’s UNOH 225, but the team did accomplish one of their goals; see the checkered flag.

 

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Armed with the same No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra that the team utilized at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park two weeks ago, the Win-Tron Racing development driver was comfortable with the chassis – and more importantly as the week pressed on, he was becoming more in-tune with the 1.5-mile track of Kentucky Speedway.

Thursday yielded two practice sessions with Mingus, placing 19th and 21st respectively. In knock-out qualifying, Mingus throttled his No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra to his fastest lap of the weekend thus far, putting his automobile 20th on the starting grid.

Not exactly satisfied with his grid placement, Mingus turned his attention towards the 150-lap race, where he hoped his experience and top-10 finish in last year ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race would pay dividends.

From the drop of the green flag, Mingus steadily moved his way forward. His patience mounted fast and productive laps, which saw him climb through the field.

Green flag pit stops began on Lap 48 with Mingus running in 17th. Following the stop, Mingus would have to bring his No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra to pit road for a loose-wheel, which put the freshman team behind.

Trying to climb out of the hole would prove to be difficult, but with leadership from crew chief Mark Rette and cheerleading from inside the cockpit, the team was able to battle back inside the top-20.

In the waning laps, Mingus found himself battling John Wes Townley and Tyler Young for a safety net inside the top-20. In the closing laps, Mingus was able to fend off his competitors and take the checkered flag in 19th, netting his fifth top-20 performance of the year.

It was also the third consecutive top-20 finish for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team.

“We had a lot of positive things out of Kentucky,” said Mingus. “It was nice to bring home a truck in one piece and I was able to learn a lot. By mid-race, we had a really solid truck and I felt like we could have contended. We need to work on some things on pit road though. We had a loose wheel after the first green flag pit stop. It cost us a lot. It also put us behind and we never really could catch up.”

He added, “I had a lot of support in the stands from 811, my family and friends, so I want to thank them all for coming out, it means a lot to me and I’m looking forward to going back to Iowa in a couple weeks.”

Nate Thiesse, co-truck owner of Win-Tron Racing also expressed his thoughts post-Kentucky.

“I thought Mason did a great job,” he said. “He made solid improvements from start to finish. Kentucky is not an easy place to race. With a worn surface, the place is very tricky, especially racing over the bumps. However, Mason seems to excel at places like that and he was heading towards the front, when a bobble on pit road sent us to rally back for a solid finish.

“We’re sorry to Mason and everyone at 811 for the missed opportunity, but we win as a team and lose as a team, so we’ll regroup and stay focused on Iowa and hope for our second top-10 finish of the year.”

Exiting Kentucky, Mingus sits 13th in the championship standings, 53 markers from 10th place held by Joey Coulter. Mingus unofficially sits second in the Sunoco rookie of the year standings, behind current leader Ben Kennedy.

After a weekend off, the NCWTS will make a stop at Iowa Speedway for the running of the American Ethanol 200 on Friday, July 11. The green flag is scheduled for shortly after 8:30 p.m. live on FOX Sports 1.

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