(SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - August 20, 2012) - ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards rookie Mason Mingus tackled the one-mile dirt oval of the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon and delivered his sixth top-10 run of the year with an encouraging eighth-place finish in the Allen Crowe 100.
Mingus, along with his Win-Tron Racing team, took on the Springfield-mile with one goal in bound: rebounding. An uncharacteristic engine failure one week ago at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway warranted unfinished business for the Brentwood, Tennessee native in his ninth start of the season.
With crew chief Mark Rette calling the shots, the team only had one hour to dial in their No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Camry for the impending 100-lap contest. During the lone practice session of the day, Mingus maneuvered the 10th quickest lap after posting a lap of 33.547 seconds at 107.312 miles per hour.
After digesting his first tango on the dirt in a stock-car, the 17-year old Mingus consulted with Rette about changes to be made to their No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Camry for Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying which was slated to erupt just one hour after the conclusion of practice.
During time trials, the track slowed considerably which was obvious by Mingus’s lap of 34.039 transferring to a speed of 105.761 miles per hour lining up the Lakeville, Minnesota-based team eighth on the starting grid, Mingus’s fifth top-10 start of 2012.
The green flag waived just shortly before 2:00 p.m. local with Mingus struggling to find the balance of his No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Camry in the early stages of the 16th race of the season. By lap 10, Mingus had slipped to 15th after slipping into the outside groove and being freight trained by a slew of lead lap cars, but as the race progressed Mingus was slowing beginning to creep back towards the top-10.
When the caution waived on lap 24, Mingus under the advisement of Rette brought his automobile to pit road where the team performed their mandatory service which consisted of tires, fuel and a minor chassis adjustment before sending their driver back into battle.
Restarting 17th on lap 29, Mingus would work his way back into the top-15 by lap 35 and climbed back into the top-10 by lap 43 where he restarted ninth following the event’s second caution flag.
By the halfway point, Mingus had worked himself to sixth before falling into a comfortable rhythm in seventh by lap 55. 10 laps later though, Mingus found himself teetering between sixth and seventh where he remained until the event’s third caution.
Under the yellow flag, Rette elected to keep his teenage driver out on the track hoping that track position would be a key strategy in the closing laps of the race. Restarting second, Mingus would put up a gallant fight trying to hold off his competition behind him, many with newer tires – but would become a sitting duck and eventually being swallowed back to ninth.
The team’s hopes of a late-race caution would never spark to life thus forcing the soon-to-be High School senior to ride out the remaining 10 laps to checkered flag. Scored in ninth when the white flag flew, Mingus would slide into eighth after Will Kimmel lost his engine on the final circuit with Mingus flying by to score an eighth place finish in his 10th career ARCA start.
“Overall, it was a good weekend,” offered Mingus. “I learned a lot of things that I am ready to take with me when we go to the next dirt track. We had an outstanding race car; Win-Tron Racing gave me the best car on the track based on lap time. We didn’t pit on the last caution because we knew it would be so congested that we would take a chance of losing even more position. That helped us with track position by restarting second, but I didn’t have enough for them on older tires. I definitely still have a lot to learn; I struggled passing in lap traffic but I’ll definitely have a better feel for when we go to DuQuoin.”
Nate Thiesse, co-car owner of Win-Tron Racing offered his sentiments on his protégés tango with Springfield. “Mason learned a lot and that was our top priority coming into Springfield. He was able to experience a different type of racing but also have some fun and bring the No. 32 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Camry home with a top-10 run. That’s what we were looking for. We have just a couple races left with Mason and believe me, together we’re hoping to sneak a top-five if not a win before year’s end.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is a stop at Madison (Wisc.) International Speedway for the running of the Herr’s Live Life with Flavors 200 set for Sunday, August 26. The 200-lap highly anticipated short-track showdown will take the green shortly after 2:00 p.m.
In addition to Call 811 Before You Dig, Diamond Equipment leaped aboard the team as an associate marketing partner for Mingus’s 10th-career ARCA start.
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.
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