After a promising run was cut short at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last month, Mason Mingus and Win-Tron Racing plan to seek redemption Friday night at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway (PIR) in the Lucas Oil 150.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) may be a new platform for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team and their teenage driver, but the organization proved at Talladega that they have the components to race competitively on the tour.
Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, site of the penultimate race on the NCWTS tour, may be new for Mingus, a native of Brentwood, Tennessee, but his team led by 2009 ARCA champion crew chief Mark Rette, finished an impressive 11th last fall at the 1.0-mile oval.
To further continue their driver’s learning curve and adjustment from a 3,400-pound stock car to a 3,400-pound truck, the team recently tested their No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig / Mark-It! Madness Chevrolet Silverado at Gresham (Ga.) Motorsports Park, where the 18-year old driver feels confident that the testing will pay off in Friday night’s showdown.
“We had the opportunity to test our Phoenix truck at Gresham a few weeks back and I was extremely pleased with what we accomplished,” said Mingus, who finished second in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship point standings this season. “We spent the day making changes and I literally could feel and understand the changes. I feel I will reap the benefits from the test at Phoenix.
“This past week, I also had the opportunity to test our Homestead truck at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway so I have felt a truck on a short track and an intermediate track and I felt very comfortable in the truck at both places. Having that seat time, I fully believe will help my learning curve for sure. I would love to come out of the race this weekend with a top-10.”
Despite his inexperience at PIR, Mingus is no stranger to new tracks, let alone adversity.
“I take new challenges in stride,” offered Mingus. “I endured that a lot in the ARCA Racing Series this year and we made the best of the situation several times. In fact, some of our best performances came at a track which I had never seen before. I know the competition is a lot stiffer in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, but I think with a lot of hard work, we can flex some muscle and have something to build on for Homestead. If we can claim that top-10 run, we can use the momentum to drop the hammer and go for it in the last race of the year.”
Nate Thiesse, co-car owner at Win-Tron Racing offered his insight on Friday night’s contest.
“We’re looking forward to Phoenix this weekend not only to redeem ourselves from Talladega, but the opportunity for us to showcase the talent of Mason (Mingus),” sounded Thiesse. “The test at Gresham went better than we expected. We feel that Mason will be able to quickly adapt to the track (Phoenix) and deliver us a strong finish to close out the season at Homestead next weekend.”
35 trucks have pre-entered for Friday night’s race for a 36 truck starting field, relieving the stress of the team of having to qualify for the race on speed (qualifications time).
Mason Mingus has 34 ARCA Racing Series races to his credit. During that tenure, he has acquired five top-fives and 25 top-10 finishes, including second-place runs at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Toledo Speedway and Berlin (Mich.) Raceway in August 2013. Additionally, two pole runs at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway (March 2013) and Iowa Speedway (September 2013), is his best time trials effort to date.
In addition to Phoenix, Mingus and Win-Tron Racing will also compete in the season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway (November 15) next weekend.
Win Tron Racing PR