In their final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race together, Mason Mingus netted a 17th place finish in this past Saturday’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS).
The return of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to the flat 1.0-mile oval allowed the teams extra track time to get acquainted with the facility, along with their new body styles. For Mingus and his Win-Tron Racing team, the additional practices were important to allow the rookie driver to adjust.
When practice started Friday morning, Mingus’s No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra maneuvered the 17th quickest lap in the first practice session. Later, Mingus found even more speed in the second practice, placing him 12th fastest overall.
In the final practice, Mingus managed 19th quickest, but he and crew chief Dennis Connor were confident in their truck’s ability to produce speed and finesse.
When knockout qualifying began on Saturday morning, Mingus maneuvered a mid-pack time, but the lap didn’t set well with the 19-year old driver nor his Mooresville, North Carolina based team.
After cooling down their No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra, the team opted to make a second qualifying attempt, hoping it would put them inside the top-12 and onto the final round. Their planned work, as Mingus jumped to 10th fastest overall and a guaranteed berth towards the second round of time trials.
In the final round, Mingus circled the track in 29.324 seconds or 129.887 miles per hour or 12th fastest overall, matching his season-best starting spot obtained at Eldora Speedway in July.
With a quick turnaround to the 175-lap race, Mingus turned his attention to his New Hampshire debut, hoping the team could build on their strong morning and earn their second top-10 finish of the season.
When the green flag flew, Mingus did a superb job protecting his position.
As the race progressed, the field fell under a long green flag run, but Mingus’s No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra adapted to the changing track characteristics, enabling him to continue to post competitive lap times.
Without a caution in sight, much of the leaders elected to bring their trucks down pit road under racing conditions, which included Mingus approaching Lap 65.
Unfortunately, a slow pit stop would prove to be too much to overcome, especially under the green flag, which took the Brentwood, Tennessee native from the lead lap to two laps in the arrears.
Despite maintaining a spot inside the top-20, the setback would be their demise and Mingus would have to settle for a 17th-place finish.
“I really enjoyed New Hampshire,” said Mingus. “I don’t typically like very flat race tracks, so it was a little bit of a surprise. It was one of my favorite tracks that we have gone to this year.
“I was very happy with my truck, I felt like we had a top-10 truck, but we just got behind after a couple bad pit stops and couldn’t make the laps back up. I have to thank everyone at Win-Tron, as they brought me a great truck this week. I just wish I could have posted the finish we deserved.”
Nate Thiesse co-owner of Win-Tron Racing offered his thoughts, post-New Hampshire.
“Mason did an incredible job start to finish, we just couldn’t get the job done on pit road in order to give him a finish that we warranted in our last race,” he said. “We’re thankful of our time with Mason and his family over the last couple of years and wish him nothing but the best in his new endeavor.”
Exiting New Hampshire, Mingus sits 11th in the championship standings, 85 markers from 10th place held by Ron Hornaday Jr. Mingus unofficially sits second in the Sunoco rookie of the year standings, behind current leader Ben Kennedy.
Mason Mingus PR