Mason Mingus simply doesn’t believe in giving up.
That never give up attitude helped him overcome missing the first race in the Ken Ten Series this season and still be crowned its Late Model Championship. Mingus emphasized that he and his team overcame the points they missed in that first race with consistent finishes and a huge win a Salem Speedway, one of the country’s toughest half-mile tracks, to earn the coveted Ken Ten Late Model Championship.
Mingus, who will celebrate his 16th birthday in November, also said his sponsors Kentucky/Tennessee Dial 811 Before You Dig/Diamond Equipment were a key ingredient in being able to take the championship trophy.
“It’s been a good season so far,” Mingus, who lives in Brentwood, TN, said. “Winning the Ken Ten Championship was a total team effort and I really have to thank our crew chief Kevin Gardner as well as Chuck Barnes, Jr. and all the guys on the crew who helped win the championship. And without our sponsors, Kentucky/Tennessee Dial 811 Before You Dig and Diamond Equipment supporting us, we wouldn’t have overcome the early season point deficit. It goes to prove that racing is definitely a team sport.”
After missing the first Ken Ten race of the season, Mingus said his team had to decide whether or not there was a legitimate chance to win the championship.
“We knew we’d have to have consistent finishes and try to grab a win or two along the way and that’s just what we did,” he said. “When we got the win at Salem, we knew we had a real shot at the title, We ran hard and used our heads and finally got the points lead in the last race of the Ken Ten Series this year. I’d really like to thank Craig Thompson, who heads up the Ken Ten Series and all of the other Ken Ten folks as well as the promoters at all of the tracks where we raced this year. The Ken Ten is a great series and we look forward to defending our title next year.”
Mingus said he plans to place the trophy beside his Eastern United States Baby Grand Trophy that he won two years ago. It’s the same series where NASCAR star Carl Edwards gained his first championship.
“I feel fortunate to have two championships at this stage of my racing career,” the young hot shoe noted. “It’s taken a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but it’s also been a lot of fun. “
In addition to the Ken Ten Series, Mingus also competed in several CRA Super Late Model events this season including races at Anderson Speedway and Winchester Speedway.
He also has raced against NASCAR stars Kyle Busch and Ken Schrader in CRA Super Late Model events and said he found it rewarding to race against NACAR drivers.
“We race against the best short track drivers in the nation on a regular basis and to have the opportunity to race drivers from the NASCAR ranks is an added bonus,” he said.
Mingus began his racing career at age seven driving quarter midgets. He later graduated to Mini-Cup cars, then to the Baby Grand Series. He began driving Late Models on a limited basis midway in the 2009 racing season.
What does the future hold for Mingus?
“We are planning on finishing this season by racing in the Winchester 400 and a deal to race at Five Flags in Pensacola during the Snowball Derby is in the works,” he said. “As far a next year, we plan to continue racing Pro and Super Late Models. We feel like we had a solid year. We‘ve learned a lot and can apply it to remainder of this season and certainly use our experience to be better next season.”