(TOLEDO, Ohio - September 18, 2012) - Mason Mingus arrived at Salem Speedway later than most drivers Saturday morning, traveling in from his home state of Tennessee after playing a high school football game the night before.
The 17-year-old, a student at Franklin Road Academy, helped his team to a 29-28 victory over a school from Kentucky. The next morning, Mingus (No. 32 811 Call Before You Dig Toyota) flew to Salem Speedway and arrived just before the 11:15 a.m. driver meeting in the track grandstands. He then finished sixth in his 12th start of 2012 for Win-Tron Racing, tying his career high.
"Yeah, it was definitely a busy two days," Mingus said. "We had a great game last night. It came down to the very end. We had to play all four quarters all out and won by one. Then we get on a plane this morning and flew here. I got here just in time to go to the driver meeting. I'm definitely exhausted at this point, but we had a good run going. We needed one more caution. We got hurt on the start and fell back and it cost us a lap. We fought it. We had two tires; I think us and Kimmel might have been the only people with two tires still in the pits, so it's too bad we didn't have one more caution. I think we would have had something for them. We had a great race car."
Mingus will turn 18 this November and plans to return to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards in 2013.
Career Highs for Several in Top 20: Outside of Tom Hessert and Mason Mingus, six drivers in the top 20 surpassed or matched career-best finishes in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic.
Frank Kimmel II (No. 09 Casite.com/Motor Honey/Roush Yates Performance Parts Ford) finished seventh to match his result at Salem from last fall. He led 34 laps around the middle of Saturday's race, and at one point lapped even his own father.
Ed Pompa (No. 10 Classic 3/Fast Track Dodge) was 16th, Tim Walter (No. 2 MPBToday.com/racersfood Dodge) was 19th, and Ronnie Souders Jr. (No. 87 Power Bore Cylinder Sleeves Chevrolet) was 20th; all of those performances were career bests.
Debut drivers finishing in the top 20 included Evan Pardo (No. 40 Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge) in 14th and Caleb Armstrong (No. 15 Mudd Advertising/Drive for Savings Chevrolet) in 15th.
"Driving an ARCA car took a lot of getting used to and I was a couple seconds off from where I needed to be in practice, but Carter 2 Motorsports was really patient with me and coached me, which helped me pick up a second in qualifying," Pardo said in a team press release. "As the race started I was just trying to find a groove and get comfortable but by the end of the race the No. 40 Dodge was set perfect and it showed as we ran with the third-place car. I would like to thank everyone for their hard work: C2M and my sponsor, Life Partners Inc. I had a blast and can't wait to do it again."
The third debut driver in the field, England's Jack Clarke, finished 30th.