Mason Mingus was not scheduled to compete in a single race in 2019. However, that changed in November when the Brentwood, Tennessee driver put together a last-minute deal with Richie Wauters to compete in the All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. That decision immediately paid off with the biggest win of his career.
Mingus’s big win at his home track has now opened another door for him, as he will climb back behind the wheel of the No. 5 Super Late Model for the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway during the first week of December.
“Richie had talked to us about it and asked if we wanted to run it. We were just trying to get some sponsorship together so we could go down there and run it,” Mingus told Speed51.com. “The All American obviously helped, it got everybody excited for it. That kind of carried over into running the Derby.”
The last two years have been a roller coaster for Mingus and Richie Wauters Motorsports at the Snowball Derby. The duo qualified fourth for the race in 2017 before an early crash took them out of contention. One year ago, they failed to make the show.
The recent success has Mingus and team ready to get back to Pensacola, Florida to avenge last year’s performance.
“Coming off a win at the All American 400, everybody’s pretty excited,” he said. “Two years ago, we had a really good race car there. We went back last year and didn’t have a very good showing so we’re pretty excited to get back down there and hopefully improve, have a good race car and be in contention.”
Having moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky during the year to work with the family business Team Construction, Mingus’ last start before his All American 400 triumph was in the 2018 Winchester 400. The win at Nashville was big for the team as well as Mingus on a personal level, who admitted he doesn’t know how many more opportunities he will have to climb behind the wheel.
“It means a lot. I haven’t been running very much anymore, just really haven’t had time with work and all that, so I’ve just kind of stepped away from that. It definitely gives us a lot of momentum going into the Derby,” he said. “I hadn’t run in over a year before I ran the All American, so when Richie called and wanted me to come run the All American, it being my home track and all we decided to do it. Then coming to it and having a good race car and winning the race was a pretty exciting deal for us and for Richie. We’ve run with him for a couple years now and had been so close a few times, so for them to get that win and for us it was a big deal.
“After the Derby I don’t know if I’ll run next year at all or not, I may run one or two here and there,” he added. “It’s a good way to have a little fun after having some time off. It was pretty exciting for everybody and it made us get that itch to want to go back to the Derby and run and see what we can do.”
It will be his ninth attempt in the Snowball Derby. In three previous starts in the race, Mingus has a best finish of seventh in his debut in 2010. It is a race that he looks forward to every year, especially now with his racing career facing uncertainty.
“Just the history behind it and all the top-notch drivers, they come from all over the country and some guys come from Canada. It’s become a short track staple. You probably won’t find a more talented field of drivers and quality Late Models at any other race in the country. Everybody’s drawn to it and it’s exciting. If you can go down there and run with everybody there and compete for a win then you can run with anybody in the country. That’s what gets everybody excited and gives everybody the drive to go down there and do that.”
The best Super Late Model racers in the country will take the green flag at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, December 8 for 300 laps of racing in the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby. Speed51 will have race fans covered with flag-to-flag coverage until the Tom Dawson Trophy is delivered to the winner in victory lane.
Individual video tickets are available for each day of racing; however, a four-day early bird video ticket offers a total savings of $38. To order your early bird Snowball Derby four-day video package today, click here and use discount code “snowbird.”
Individual video tickets can be purchased now at the regular price by clicking here.
For more information on the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby, visit Speed51’s Snowball Central.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com