Being a rookie in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) allows you to inhale an array of experiences.
This weekend, for Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Mason Mingus, is no exception, as the tour heads North of the Border for an adventure at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), site of Sunday’s Silverado 250.
While Mingus, driver of the No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra, doesn’t have much road course experience, the Brentwood, Tennessee native is known for being a fast learner and hopes to adapt those skills towards earning his Win-Tron Racing their second top-10 finish of the season.
Even though Mingus will make his NASCAR debut on the track’s 2.459-mile course, the 19-year old does hail experience in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards where he made three road course racing starts at New Jersey Motorsport Park and Road America (Wisc.) respectively.
Furthermore, Mingus was able to capitalize on the opportunity to turn right and left, as he wrestled his Win-Tron Racing entry to three consecutive top-10 performances, including two last season, which aided him to claim second in the championship standings at season’s end.
Now, he hopes for similar success in Canada.
“I feel pretty good about Canada,” said Mingus. “I just finished up a few days at Bondurant to help me get ready for this weekend. There’s a lot of techniques when it comes to road course racing, so I want to make sure I’m on my game as much as possible.
“I don’t have the experience that some of the veterans do, but I feel like we will have a pretty good truck and the little background I do have should pay off. I’m doing everything I can to prepare myself for Sunday’s race.”
Undoubtedly, the time spent at the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving will aid Mingus in his mission to succeed this weekend, but the freshman NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver will also turn to the realistic computer simulator racing program, iRacing, to get him better equipped with the track’s 10-turn facility.
“iRacing is so life-like,” Mingus explained. “It has helped me a lot and I’m planning to spend some time on it this week before we have to leave. I want to see if I can’t learn some of the important braking points and things like that. This is the next best thing compared to actual track time to get me ready.”
Of course, the traditional strategy of staying on course is the key to earning a good finish on Sunday, but Mingus also knows that road course racing presents several variables that could allow his Mooresville, North Carolina-based team to maneuver an even better finish than what they’re shooting for.
“You’re always looking for the best finish possible, but this is road racing,” Mingus added. “Things happen that can shuffle the strategy where a top-10 finish actually equates to a top-five finish. So we’re just going to stay on track and adjust our game plan as needed and hope we can get a great finish in our No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra.”
Nate Thiesse, co-truck owner of Win-Tron Racing offered his thoughts entering Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
“Even though Mason doesn’t have a lot of experience on a road course, he’s shown that he can get the job done in the three ARCA races he did in the past,” he said. “He’s confident in our ability to bring him a good truck this weekend to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and we’re equally convinced he can do a similar, if not better job on the road course on Sunday. It’s an event that we’re looking forward to.”
Entering Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Mingus sits 12th in the championship standings, 74 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.
Win-Tron Racing PR