Mason Mingus is not only digging his sophomore season in the Camping World Truck Series, but is also digging his sponsor ‘Call 811.’
As far as his season to date, the driver of the No. 15 Chevrolet Silverado for Billy Boat Racing, who is racing at Pocono this weekend, thinks that it has gone “pretty good so far.”
“We’ve had our ups and downs so far but I think we’re definitely heading in the right direction,” Mingus said. “I’m definitely excited for the rest of the season. We’ve got a good crew in place now.”
“My new crew chief Brandon McSwain came on at Texas has been doing a great job since that race. Everybody is working well together and building nice trucks.”
“Usually it’s pretty tough to have someone step in and crew chief mid-season,” Mingus said. “But it’s been pretty seamless and he’s done a great job.”
“As far as communication goes, we’ve been on the same page. He’s pretty young, only 25 years old. So, he’s not much older than me so I think that helps from a communication standpoint. It’s been an easier transition than we all expected.”
“So, I’m really excited for this race and what’s coming.”
While Mingus is digging this stretch of the race season, he definitely would like to put the early part of it in his rear view mirror.
“The biggest challenge has been the first part of the season,” Mingus said. “We had some setbacks and didn’t make the first race of the season at Daytona due to the group qualifying situation that we were put in. We had a good truck there but just didn’t get it in the draft in qualifying.”
“A couple things we had to go through at the beginning of the season were tough but now that we are building good trucks, we’re having a lot faster equipment, as well as opportunities to run up front.”
The young racer is also digging moving through the ranks of racing as he has throughout his career to date. He started his racing career when he was seven in quarter midgets and has progressed to Late Models, ARCA and now the Truck Series.
“For whatever reason, I really wanted to start racing,” Mingus said. “I kept bugging my dad about it and then when I got into that quarter midget, I fell in love with it from there.”
“Nobody in my family raced except my uncle. But I didn’t even know about that until I started racing. For whatever reason, it just really interested me.”
“I started there and moved up to different series and then got into Pro and Super Late Models and then into ARCA. Once I started racing, I did find out my uncle raced local short tracks. He had quit by the time I was born. But he did come back and I got to race against him. So, that was pretty cool.”
“I won, but I had the better equipment. They took the good parts and put them all on my car. He got cheated a little bit I think.”
Digging is also a part of Mingus’ sponsorship as well. He promotes “Call 811,” the underground damage prevention phone line, with the tagline “Call before you dig”.
“Call 811, they’ve been on board with me just about since I started racing,” Mingus said. “My dad owns a construction company in Tennessee so he was actually on the Board at 811. So, we developed a relationship there.”
“Basically they come out and locate underground utilities. So, my Dad used them a lot for his business because they need to locate underground utilities before they dig. A lot of people like my dad and those involved in construction already know this, but Call 811 is trying to get that same message out to the public.”
“People who want to put in a new mailbox or plant a tree need to know to Call 811 because there may be dangers underground. That’s the message we are trying to get across to the general public and to race fans sitting in the stands.”
“Call 811 got on board with me when I was twelve years old and from there we’ve gotten more and more states on board. We’ve got about ten or twelve states onboard right now.”
“Every race track we go to, we have people asking us what Call 811 is. We travel so much across the country so to be able to educate so many people in the matter of a race season is pretty cool.”
“This is a great organization to call that can potentially save lives and money as far as damages.”
While Mingus is digging his current Truck ride, hoping to better his career best finish of ninth this year, he is also hoping to at some point take that next step into an even bigger series.
“As far as the next step, we’ll take it as it comes,” Mingus said. “I’d love to be in an Xfinity car but obviously my ultimate goal is to race on Sunday in the Cup Series.”
“But we have to take it one step at a time. Right now we are just worried about the remainder of the Truck season and trying to run as well as we can. We want to run upfront and contend for the wins as much as we can.”
“So, we’ll see what comes next year.”