On the heels of their second best outing of the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season, Mason Mingus and his Win-Tron Racing team head to Kentucky Speedway for Thursday night’s UNOH 225 hoping to produce their second top-10 run of the season.
Through the race’s first seven events, The Mooresville, North Carolina-based team has shown strength through adversity. However, a series of misfortunes has led the team through a turbulent path of inconsistency, a statistic that the Mark Rette-led group vows to change.
Two weeks ago, Mingus in his No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra, had patiently raced his way inside the top-10 at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsport Park, but a miscue during the final pit stop forced an intense rally to deliver a 12th place finish, only bettered by a 10th-place outing at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this month.
Charging ahead, Mingus, unlike Gateway or Texas, heads to familiar turf for a mid-week brawl on the 1.5-mile track of Kentucky Speedway. The freshman team is determined to carry the momentum from the Drivin’ for Linemen 200 and apply it Thursday night.
Mingus became acquainted with Kentucky Speedway, nestled in Sparta, Kentucky during his standout ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season last year. After qualifying 10th, Mingus muscled his No. 32 Toyota Camry to a ninth-place finish helping secure his runner-up performance in the championship standings in his first and only full-season.
Knowing the drastic differences between an ARCA car and a NASCAR truck, the 19-year old rising star still believes that there are tactics that he can utilize this week that will give his Win-Tron Racing team the opportunity to have a stellar run.
“I’m excited for Kentucky,” said Mingus, a Sunoco rookie of the year candidate. “We are coming off a decent finish at Gateway and I think we can carry (the progress) over to Kentucky and try to start stringing a few good finishes together.
“Kentucky was one of my favorite intermediate tracks that we went to last year in ARCA and I’m looking forward to going back there in a truck. I believe the experience I had in the ARCA car will pay off. Even though the cars are so different from the trucks, any seat time that you can get at a track helps. It’s always been a big help for me to go back to a track that I’ve been before.”
While experience is helpful for the Brentwood, Tennessee native and his team, the word “motivation” also comes heavily into play this week.
With the team’s best finish of the year occurring at a track in identical size, Mingus will have a huge cheering section on-hand as well at Kentucky, so the emphasis to do well is also important for the former wrestling champion.
“Although I have only been to Kentucky (Speedway) once, it’s like a home track for me, because I was born in Kentucky and all of my family will be out to watch this race,” Mingus added. “We’ll also have a big representation for this race from 811, so the support will not be in short demand at all. Kentucky is a very rough track, possibly the roughest mile and a half track we go to. For me, I tend to like the rougher race tracks, so I’m hoping that will play into our hands and we can get everyone there to support us to a strong finish in our No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra.”
Nate Thiesse, co-truck owner of Win-Tron Racing offered his insights on this weekend’s activities.
“We have high hopes for Kentucky,” he said. “I feel we’re starting to get into a rhythm as we approach the heart of the summer stretch of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series tour and you’ll start seeing some great things from Mason (Mingus) and our Win-Tron Racing team. Mason’s pretty confident for Thursday night’s race, so we hope to have a good showing in our No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra for his guests and everyone at 811.”
Mingus’s No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra is chassis No. 47. This particular vehicle will make its fourth appearance in 2014 at Kentucky. Mingus drove it at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and most recently at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park on June 14.
Entering Kentucky, Mingus sits 13th in the championship standings, 47 markers from 10th place held by Jeb Burton. Mingus unofficially sits second in the Sunoco rookie of the year standings, behind current leader Ben Kennedy.