Mason Mingus had no plans of racing in 2019 before a last-second call from Richie Wauters led to him climbing behind the wheel for the All American 400. That proved to be a great call, as Mingus won the event after a dramatic conclusion to the marquee race.
Eight months after the crown jewel win in his backyard, the driver from nearby Brentwood, Tennessee finds himself back behind the wheel at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for this weekend’s season opener. This time, he will drive former track champion Mike Alexander’s Pro Late Model to open 2020 at the historic 5/8-mile oval.
Once again, the opportunity comes after not having any set plans to race in 2020, citing his busy schedule with family company Team Construction. He joined “The Bullring” to talk about this weekend’s season opener.
“I didn’t have any plans on doing anything this year, I was just going to see how it all played out. We ran together in the All American 400 five or six years ago and finished second with him,” Mingus said. “I’ve been friends with him for a long time, he’s from Franklin, Tennessee.”
The two have already had track time to prepare for Saturday’s 100-lapper, having tested at Nashville recently. The two have had success together in the past, with Mingus finishing second in the All American 400 back in 2010 driving for Alexander.
With no points battle to fret over, they hope to finish one spot better Saturday and pick up another guitar.
“He called me up and seen if I wanted to get in it, so we went down to Nashville and practiced two weeks ago. We were pretty quick so we’re going to put a couple races together, with the first one being this weekend. We’ve done well in the past and we work good together, hopefully we can string something together and get a win this weekend.”
The last event held at the track saw Mingus score a surprise All American 400 in a race that took well over three hours and saw just six cars finish on the lead lap. He qualified 17th and wasn’t a threat to win for most of the race, but survived the chaos and had a little help to score his first Late Model win of any kind at Nashville.
“All weekend we just focused on having a good long run race car, we weren’t going for the pole. We just focused on staying at the bottom of the racetrack and having a car that would last all 400 laps. With that race and any race that’s 400 laps long it’s just about surviving there for the first 300 laps and then you can race a little bit.
“We knew it was going to get wild, you never know how those races are going to shake out,” he added about his All American 400 win. “There were a couple of things that worked out in our favor, but we made sure we were in the right spot when it all started going haywire.”
While there are no other plans set in place for either Pro or Super Late Model races for 2020, Mingus could possibly take part in other events at Nashville throughout the season. He hopes to climb behind the wheel of Alexander’s car as many times as possible, but that will be dependent on his schedule away from the track.
“We’re just going to take it race-by-race. We’ve got a lot going on here at work as well, so it’s about finding time to get away. All the races at Nashville, we love running those because it doesn’t take as much time away from what we’re doing. Anytime we can get to the racetrack at Nashville we will, but we’re going to see how it goes.”
Fans can watch Saturday’s season opener from the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday, July 4 on Speed51. Click here to order your pay-per-view video ticket today.
Fans who missed Mingus’s interview on “The Bullring” can watch a replay by clicking here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo