A new meaning to digging in the dirt will never be more apparent this week when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Eldora Speedway for Wednesday night’s 1-800-CARCASH Mudsummer Classic.
For Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Mason Mingus and his Win-Tron Racing team, it’s only fitting that they have poured their heart and soul into their No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra. They’re hoping that effort will equal an opportunity to steal the thunder from the regular hopefuls and earn their second top-10 finish of the season.
“Eldora should be a fun race,” said Mingus. “I don’t have much dirt experience, but neither do most of the other drivers. I love getting to go run a dirt race or two each year, though my favorite type of track is asphalt, it’s always a lot of fun to get down and dirty and sling a little dirt.”
While the Brentwood, Tennessee native’s background with dirt is slim, he did compete in two dirt races last season in his inaugural full-season in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. Solid finishes at both the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield) and the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds helped Mingus secure second place in the championship standings.
Now, the 19 year-old sensation is hoping the experience in those two races will pay huge dividends, this time in a truck.
“Getting to run in the ARCA dirt races will help some,” Mingus explained. “Knowing what to expect when you have a 3400-pound race car sideways will be an advantage along with knowing how the dirt changes drastically from loose to packed down as hard as asphalt. Not sure if that will matter though, because Eldora will be a different animal compared to Springfield or DuQuoin.”
Luckily for Mingus, the track time on Wednesday will give him an opportunity to get acquainted with “The Big E.”
“I like the format of the day,” Mingus continued. “We have some practice time in the morning, then qualifying to determine our heat races, followed by the actual heat races themselves and finally the main feature. Luckily for us, we know we’re guaranteed to start the race, but I think in order for us to have a good finish, we need to start as close to the front as possible. With that being said, we’re going to give 110 percent like we always do.”
He added, “The Eldora race is also a great opportunity for us to get some exposure for Call 811 Before You Dig. The two go hand-in-hand of sorts for this race, so I’m hoping we can dig through the field, wherever we start and get them some exposure.”
Nate Thiesse, co-truck owner of Win-Tron Racing offered his thoughts on this week’s race.
“Eldora offers a unique challenge for everyone, not just Win-Tron Racing, but I think we’re ready,” Thiesse said. “Mason has done a great job this season adapting to diversity and Eldora without question might represent our biggest challenge thus far.” However, we’re confident in his abilities and if we can stay out of trouble, it should be a good night for him and the Win-Tron Racing team.”
Entering Eldora, Mingus sits 13th in the championship standings, 62 markers from 10th place held by John Wes Townley. Mingus unofficially sits second in the Sunoco rookie of the year standings, behind current leader Ben Kennedy.
Win-Tron Racing PR