By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Mason Mingus (98) of Brentwood set the fastest time in testing for the 46th Snowball Derby, set for this weekend in Pensacola, FL. Mingus, who finished second in the ARCA national championship race this summer, is expected to be a factor Friday when nearly 70 drivers try to qualify for the 36-car field at the nation’s most prestigious short track event.
The local weather forecast calls for a wintery mix, but Mason Mingus only has one Snowball on his mind: the prestigious Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Florida.
“The Snowball Derby is one of the most important and historic short track races of the year,” said the former FRA football player and wrestler.
“We feel like we are capable of a top five finish, but we’re looking for a win. It would be a great thing to bring the Snowball trophy home to Williamson County.”
The 18-year-old is coming off a season of success, finishing second in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) point standings, hounding veteran Frank Kimmel all season long before Kimmel wrapped up his record tenth national title. The former high school football player and wrestler also ran in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series and at select short track events across the country.
The Snowball Derby is the nation’s biggest and most prestigious short track event in the nation, a 300-lap contest on the half-mile Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola.
The event is in its 46th consecutive year with past winners including Darrell Waltrip, Kyle Busch, Donnie Allison and short track legends Gary Balough, Butch Lindley and Butch Miller.
Mingus gave notice during a special practice two weeks ago that he intends on continuing to add to the success of his 2013-racing season by capturing the fastest practice lap, covering the half-mile distance in just over sixteen-and-a-half seconds.
The Preview Practice quick lap earned Mingus $500.00 and establishes the 18-year-old racer from Brentwood, Tenn. as a driver to watch in this year’s qualifying for the 46th annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. The event takes place Dec. 4 -8.
“We are excited about having the fast time in the open practice,” said Mingus, who picked up a $500 bonus for the effort.
“It gives our team a base to try and hopefully make the car even better. The Snowball is a tough race to make and a tough race to finish, so we’ll take it one step at a time.”
Mingus is driving the car that he finished third in at Winchester (IN) this year and said he really likes the way it races.
“The car was really fast at Winchester, but we had a mechanical issue during the race,” he said. “But once we solved the problem, we fought our way back through the field to finish third. So we know we have a strong car.”
Mingus said a good finish in the Snowball would top off a successful 2013 season.
“A good finish in the Snowball would be great but a win would be a fantastic way to end the 2013 season and begin 2014,” he said.
The four-day-event begins today, with qualifying tomorrow and the Snowball Derby on Sunday.
Posted on: 12/5/2013