Coming into this season, Mason Diaz had recorded victories in multiple classes at his home track of Southern National Motorsports Park (NC), but a Late Model Stock win had eluded him. That drought ended recently, and with the monkey off of his back Diaz is becoming a force to be reckoned with at the North Carolina race track.
The 17-year old Diaz started off his season at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), where he ran the Red Eye 100 and Zack Donatti Memorial in January, finishing fifth in the Red Eye 100 Super Late Model race and fourth in the Donatti Memorial Pro Late Model event, a sign that good things were on the horizon for the young shoe from Manassas, Virginia.
“Traveling to tracks helps with learning to save tires. The Super Late Model helped me with saving tires but the Pro (Late Model) is more like the Late Model Stock cars because the horsepower is a lot closer. Those races boosted my confidence,” Diaz told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
Diaz, a former Legends and Bandolero winner at Southern National, ran upfront in Late Model races at the track but a win eluded him until April 8 when Diaz finally went to Victory Lane, winning the first of two twin 40-lap races that night. He followed that up two weeks later with another LMSC victory at the Kenly, North Carolina track.
“It feels amazing to win a race, let alone repeat it,” Diaz sated. “It shows the effort that my team puts in at the shop and at the track. Mike Darne Racing doesn’t give up at all. It feels good to put them in victory lane.”
Diaz doesn’t only have his best interests in mind, but also knows the key to a good team is being supportive of your teammate, as he with his teammate Jonathan Findley.
“I came in second in the second twin race this past race to my teammate Jonathan Findley. If I can’t win the race, I want him to win the race. With him winning the race it puts Mike Darne Racing still in victory lane, which is good for the whole team.”
Diaz has developed into quite the young shoe and currently leads the Southern National Late Model Stock point standings by 13 points over Rusty Daniels. But, he isn’t focused solely on points and has a more mature approach to the season at Southern National.
“Winning this past weekend extended the points lead at Southern National into my favor even more. I’m not focused on points as much as wins, but if I go out and win like this past weekend then the points will come.”
Diaz is a driver to watch as the spring turns to summer and the season grows longer at Southern National and around the region. You can see him in action at Southern National on May 27 when the Late Model Stock Cars run twin 40-lap races, action will begin at 7:00 P.M.
-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com