(CLERMONT, Ind. - July 29, 2012) - Even though he soon may be entering his senior year of high school, not only as a student but as an amateur wrestler and champion, Mason Mingus clearly proved another talent during Friday night’s running of the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Mingus, driver of the No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet Impala had been dubbed as one of the pre-race favorites entering the 13th race of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season. The rookie’s performance throughout the day showcased why.
Led by veteran crew chief Mark Rette, the duo dodged Mother Nature but still were able to fine tune their automobile in preparation for Mingus’ ARCA debut at the historic Indiana-short track. Practicing 16th in the first practice and topping off “happy hour” with 10th, the Win-Tron Racing turned their attention towards Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell where the driver hustled his No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet Impala to a lap of 22.540 seconds at 109.565 miles per hour, the team’s fastest lap of the day.
Initially, Mingus would record the ninth quickest lap overall, but when Clay Rogers withdrew himself from competition after an engine failure; the team would be notified that they would start the contest from eighth. Before the Brentwood, Tennessee native would tackle his eighth ARCA race of the season, the teenager would compete in the ARCA / CRA Super Series Fatheadz 100 presented by Team Construction driving the No. 811 Call 811 Before You Dig / Diamond Equipment Chevrolet for Mingus Motorsports. Early on, the Tennessean showed speed and consistency but would be plagued by late race misfortune, ultimately denying him of a strong finish.
Still with one race down and one to go, Mingus strapped into his No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet Impala ready for battle in his ninth career ARCA start.
From the drop of the green flag, Mingus fell to 10th in the early stages of the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200, but his machine virtually came to life 15 laps into the 200 feature jumping from 10th to eighth. When the first caution flag waived on lap 23, Mingus maintained his Chevrolet bowtie in seventh where he restart.
Nearing the lap 50 mark, Mingus impressively maneuvered his racecar into the top-five and began closing in on fourth. His momentum though would be stalled when leader Matt Crafton wrecked in turn one. Under the yellow, Mingus joined the rest of the leaders on pit road for a routine pit stop which included tires and fuel.
Rejoining the competition inside the top-10 after two cars elected to stay out, Mingus wasted no time throttling forward once again and reentered the top-five by lap 73. Just 11 laps later, Mingus moved to a race high fourth where he rode through the halfway mark.
Having by far his best performance of the year, Mingus would continue to race hard. On lap 132, Mingus was racing with the No. 66 of Kevin Swindell when the two made contact on the frontstretch knocking loose the bumper cover of the No. 32 entry.
The piece eventually flew off forcing a debris caution. During the yellow, Rette ordered his protégé to come to pit lane to survey the damage. With the damage deemed minimal and cosmetic, the team instructed their driver to dig deep and work his way back to the front.
When racing resumed, Mingus did exactly that. After restarting 11th, Mingus worked his way back into the top-10 with 58 laps remaining. 20 laps later and a strong piece underneath him, the rising star demonstrated his courage and talent by moving into the sixth position with the final stages of the race on deck.
Briefly, Mingus was able to battle his way into the top-five but had to fight for sixth between a gaggle full of lead laps cars. Despite making contact with point’s leader Chris Buescher in the final stages of the race, Mingus was still able to hold onto sixth while battling a tight car until the final caution flag waived inside the final 10 laps of the race.
The 18-year old knew that he needed a powerful restart to leave his mark in his Lucas Oil Raceway debut. Giving it his all, Mingus found himself in a huge wad of cars jockeying for a rightful spot inside the top-10. On the last lap of the race, hard racing and incidental contact would slip Mingus to 10th when the checkered flag was thrown.
“We had an extremely fast No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet,” offered Mingus. “I can’t begin to thank Mark (Rette), Nate (Thiesse, co-car-owner) and the entire Win-Tron Racing team for their dedication and hard work. It was a lot of fun. Obviously finishing 10th was not an indicator of our performance. We bounced back from the incident with the No. 66 – but the car became really tight when we collided with the No. 17. But still we proved to everyone that we can run in the top-five and be a threat. We’ll get there. We’re getting stronger and stronger with each race; I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Nate Thiesse, co-car owner of Win-Tron Racing offered his sentiments on Mingus’s performance. “I can’t begin to describe how impressive Mason was. He wasn’t afraid to get up on the wheel and drive that No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig Chevrolet. Start to finish, I’m really proud of his effort and attitude. If not for a little bad luck near the end of the race, we probably would’ve been celebrating our first top-five together. Still a good night overall. We’re looking forward to having Mason back in the car at Berlin in a few weeks.”
In addition to Call 811 Before You Dig, Diamond Equipment leaped aboard the team as an associate marketing partner for Mingus’s ninth-career ARCA start. In eight races this year, Mingus has recorded five top-10 finishes including a career-best finish of sixth at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in June.
On top of Lucas Oil Raceway, Mingus’s current ARCA schedule also includes Berlin (Mich.) Raceway, Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield), the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds and the traditional Fall Salem (Ind.) Speedway classic.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is a return trip to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for the running of the Pennsylvania ARCA 125 in a double-header combo with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at the 2.5-mile triangle. The 14th race of the year will air live on SPEED beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.
Further information including driver opportunities with Win-Tron Racing is available by visiting win-tronracing.com or contacting Nate Thiesse at 612.306.1641
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.
About Call 811 Before You Dig:
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