TALLADEGA, Alabama (May 1, 2013) – – Off to a hot start in 2013 in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season, Scott rookie contender Mason Mingus and his Win-Tron Racing team look to stretch the momentum into Friday afternoon’s International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 from Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
The event name is fitting for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team as they know a “Hall of Fame-style” performance will be needed to accomplish their fourth consecutive top-10 finish of the year. More importantly, a good finish will keep their championship chase alive.
A sour start to last Sunday’s Kentuckian Ford Dealers 200 presented by Crosley Radio had all the characteristics of ending the team’s early season success. Contact with a lap car, just 25 laps into the Salem Speedway showdown forced, Mingus to give up his lead lap status and pit under green. To add insult to injury, the High School student would also lose several laps to the leaders in the process. Through determination and perseverance though, Mingus rebounded from a race-low 25th to finish 10th.
This week, however, the series returns to restrictor plate racing. The speeds are sound, the action is tight and the racing is breathtaking. But, one mistake could leave a glancing blow to your performance and finishing position – and maybe even your season.
“I’m really excited to go to Talladega,” said Mingus, driver of the No. 32 Diamond Equipment / Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Camry. “I have learned a lot about speedway racing between Daytona and the Talladega test. It (Talladega) drives very similar to Daytona and we had a pretty good car there. That will give us a great place to start for practice on Thursday.”
Rewinding back to the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February, the Brentwood, Tennessee native started the Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV in ninth. He escaped the major carnage during the race and claimed seventh in his restrictor plate debut. Looking back, the finish was great building block for the team. This weekend, in bringing back the same No. 32 Diamond Equipment / Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Camry, they think they’re capable of more. Much more.
“After our run-in at Salem last week, Talladega is the perfect place for us to regain the ground we lost to Frank (Kimmel, current points leader),” offered Mingus. “If we can qualify in the top-three and leave Talladega with a podium finish, it will be a great day. But, I have a feeling that we’ll be a contender for the win, like we’ve been all season long thus far.”
Talladega’s infamous racing style poses different challenges throughout the 94-lap event. For Mingus and his team though, they know they have to do everything in their power to earn every point available.
“I’ve heard Talladega’s been called a crap-shoot,” the Tennessean offered. “Personally, I have not seen a race there yet, but I think it will be a good show and there also should be a lot of competitive cars in the hunt. You’ll see a different flavor of competitors on Friday afternoon because it’s Talladega and that brings new faces to the event, but I think you’ll see a good lead pack and hopefully it will be one of the best shows of the season.”
He added, “No doubt, I’ll be keeping my eye on Frank (Kimmel). “He’s good everywhere. We’re going to have to beat him in places that we might not expect, meaning qualifying or leading the most laps. He’s going to be a threat all year long. Though, if we’re able to continue our strong performances week in and week out, it’s going to be a heck of a fight come Kansas in October.”
Knowing what he saw from his young driver at Daytona, Win-Tron Racing co-car owner Nate Thiesse expects nothing less than 100 percent from his driver on Friday.
“Track time means everything in racing,” Thiesse explained. “Mason did a heck of a job at Daytona, was fast at the test earlier this month, so we’re expecting good things for the race on Friday afternoon. Talladega’s always been about being at the right place at the right time. If we cool our heels, stay in the draft and be around when it counts, Mason should be a factor for his first ARCA win.”
Entering Talladega, the 18-year old has 16 ARCA Racing Series races to his credit. During that tenure, he has acquired one top-five and 10 top-10 finishes, including a fourth place run at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway in March 2013. Additionally, a pole run last month, also at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway is his best time trials effort to date.
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 (94 laps / 250 miles) is the fourth of 21 events on the 2013 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 51st ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway is a two-day show. Practice begins Thursday, May 2nd with a three hour practice session planned from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for later in the day slated to begin at 5:05 p.m. A 45-minute final practice has been etched in on Friday, May 3rd from 10:00 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. The event will take the green flag that afternoon shortly after 4:00 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional live broadcasting available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com in collaboration with Alabama’s local WTDR Thunder 92.7 FM. All times are local (Central).
Learn about Call 811 Before You Dig and what it can do for you by connecting to call811.com.
For more on Mason Mingus, please visit MasonMingusRacing.com.
Mingus tweets too. Follow him on Twitter @Mason_Mingus.
About Win-Tron Racing:
Located in Mooresville, North Carolina, Win-Tron Racing is the home of one the most potent ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards single-car operations. Owned by former racers Kevin Cywinski and Nate Thiesse, the team since has acquired the assets of County Joe Racing has become a favorable fixture on the circuit. Since Win-Tron Racing’s inception in 2007, the team has hosted a variety of drivers including leading drivers James Buescher, Blake Bjorklund, Justin Marks, Matt Merrell and Brandon McReynolds to their first career ARCA victories. In 2013, the team will begin its seventh year of competition with a presence in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series (East) and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.