(NEWTON, Iowa - July 16, 2012) - In his Iowa Speedway debut, Mason Mingus, driver of the No. 32 Iowa One Call/Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet delivered a commendable 12th-place run Friday night at Iowa Speedway in his inaugural running of the Prairie Meadows 200.
Earlier in the week, the Win-Tron Racing team announced that Iowa One Call officially affiliated with Call 811 Before You Dig, had leaped aboard the team’s entry for the 11th and first night race of the season.
In the first one-day show of the year, the team led by Mark Rette attempted to dial in their No. 32 Iowa One Call / Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet during the two practice sessions leading up to qualifying. Mounting the 18th fastest time in the first practice, Rette conferred with his driver and chassis changes were made accordingly based on the input from Mingus.
The final practice session saw the avid late model competitor’s lap times improve around the track’s .875-mile paved oval. Posting a lap of 24.259 seconds at 129.849 miles per hour, the Lakeville, Minnesota-based team shot up to 13th quickest overall in a session that was filled by 38 cars.
With practice complete, the attention turned towards Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell. In time trials, the Brentwood, Tennessee native knew he had a quick automobile but attempting to get back on the throttle his machine was loose which resulted in the 18th starting position. Discouraged but still confident, the team tuned up for the 200 laps ahead of them under the Friday night lights.
From the drop of the green flag, Mingus’s No. 32 Iowa One Call / Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet was on the move and had muscled his way into 13th by lap five. By lap 20, Mingus had slipped back to 15th but was still posting competitive lap times.
By lap 50 and under a long-green flag run, Mingus still maintained 15th on the racetrack but had fallen a lap down to the lead pack after leader Brennan Poole was tearing up the track with blistering lap times. By lap 75 though, Poole blew a tire while leading and slammed into the turn two wall bringing out the event’s first caution flag. The yellow would allow Mingus to catch his breath and consult with his team about their first pit stop.
Rette called for four tires and fuel and also a chassis adjustment hoping to help with Mingus’s drive off the corners. Restarting 14th, Mingus held his own in the top-15 through the halfway mark.
Lap 125 saw the teenager floating in the 14th position but when the yellow flag waived on lap 127 for Brandon Davis, the game changed for the veteran ARCA team as they found themselves back on the lead lap thanks to the Aarons Lucky Dog.
Having to start at the rear of the field as one of the benefits of returning to the lead lap, Rette brought his protégé back to pit lane for routine service ensuring that Mingus would be safe on fuel to the finish of the race.
Restarting 14th and the last car on the lead lap, Mingus received a break when the yellow flag waived again shortly after the restart which allowed the rookie to close the gap and lineup behind the wallop of lead lap cars.
Still fighting the handling on his racecar, Mingus refused to give anything less than 100 percent through the races final stages; however the No. 32 Iowa One Call / Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet remained tucked just outside the top-10.
A late-race caution which threw the race into overtime, allowed the driver one last opportunity to have a shot at scoring his sixth top-10 finish of the season. A gallant effort though would come up short as Mingus found himself battling the No. 55 of Erik Jones and the No. 17 of Chris Buescher coming to the checkered flag. Squeezed between the two at the start-finish line, the 17-year old would be scored in the 12th position.
“We gave it our all,” said Mingus. “Our No. 32 Iowa One Call / Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet was good for most of the night, we fought the handling though and (I think) it hurt our chances at a top-10. This was a new track, new experience for me, but I tried to make the best of it. I just want to thank everyone at Iowa One Call for jumping aboard for this race and making this start possible. I wish we could have given them a better finish, but we’ll learn from this run and look to put ourselves back in the top-10 at Lucas Oil Raceway in a couple weeks.”
Nate Thiesse, co-car owner of Win-Tron Racing offered his sentiments on his protégés performance at Iowa Speedway. “Mason did a good job,” he said. “Through his hard work and determination we were able to get ourselves back on the lead lap and finish 12th. We didn’t have the best car in the field but the driver never gave up behind the wheel. He continues to learn every time he races and that’s exactly what we want. Overall, it was a productive race. We would also like to extend our gratitude to Iowa One Call for coming on-board; we received a lot of compliments on how good the car looked.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is their annual trip to the Windy City for a stop at Chicagoland Speedway in part of a double-header evening of racing with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday, July 21. The Ansell ActivArmr® 150 will take the green flag live on SPEED shortly after 4:00 p.m.
Further information including driver opportunities with Win-Tron Racing is available by visiting win-tronracing.com or contacting Nate Thiesse at 612.306.1641
For more on Iowa One Call and its services, please click onto IowaOneCall.com.
Learn about Call 811 Before You Dig and what it can do for you by connecting to call811.com.
For more on Mason Mingus, please visit MasonMingusRacing.com.
About Win-Tron Racing:
Located in Lakeville, Minnesota, Win-Tron Racing is the home of one the most potent ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards single-car operations. Owned by former racers Kevin Cywinski and Nate Thiesse, the team since has acquired the assets of County Joe Racing has become a favorable fixture on the circuit. Since Win-Tron Racing’s inception in 2007, the team has hosted a variety of drivers including leading drivers James Buescher, Blake Bjorklund, Justin Marks and Matt Merrell to their first career ARCA victories. In 2012, the team will begin its sixth year of competition with current drivers Chris Windom, Mason Mingus and Aleks Gregory.