The team Mingus is referring to is Win Tron Racing, which has won several ARCA races with a variety of drivers over the years, including Joey Miller, Blake Bjorklund, James Buescher, and Matt Merrell to name a few.
“The Win Tron team is a huge deal for Mason,” Kimmel added. “They’re one of the best teams this series has ever seen. Win Tron will teach him more about racing than he can ever learn on his own. He’s shown a lot of promise. It’s a great team, and he’s obviously a real good little race driver. We’re going to have our hands full; there’s no doubt about it.”
Beyond the nine titles, Kimmel, unquestionably, has the edge at Talladega where the Clarksville, Indiana second-generation driver will make his 21st start on the 2.66-mile superspeedway. In fact, Kimmel made his first start at Talladega in 1992, two years before Mingus was born. However, among his 76 career wins (second all-time to Iggy Katona’s 79), Kimmel has just one victory at Talladega in 2006. But it’s also worth noting that he’s been close on several occasions with second place finishes in 1999, 2007, and most recently in 2011 when Ty Dillon edged Kimmel by a half-length at the final stripe.
“It’s that restrictor plate thing,” Kimmel said. “We’re always racing for points, so we haven’t always been able to commit the resources and effort it takes to win at Talladega. I don’t like racing that way, but when it comes to Daytona and Talladega, it’s a gamble anyway. No matter how good your car is, you’re at the mercy of everything around you. You’ve got to race pretty smart all day. If you can walk out the back gate with a top-10 at Talladega, you’re having a great day.”
While Kimmel comes back to Talladega with valuable seat-time, Mingus will take his very first laps at Talladega in 2013.
“We ran good at Daytona,” Mingus said. “I see no reason why we can’t go to Talladega and do the same thing. I’ve got the best team in ARCA in my opinion. That’s really what you need most to run good on these restrictor plate tracks.
“My goal going into this season was to win the points championship whether it’s against a nine-time champion or some other rookie. It’s an honor to be in contention for the championship with someone that has so much experience, but I am going to go after the title just as hard against anyone. Frank is a legend here, literally. Everyone looks up to him; I’m no different. I have the world of respect for him, just like everyone else around here; but that would make winning the championship even that much sweeter, and that much more meaningful.”