Venturing through the obstacles of a few unexpected setbacks, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competitor Mason Diaz and his MAD Motorsports have spent the summer reorganizing and are set to invade Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway site of Thursday night’s Bush’s Beans 150 ready to get down to business.
A quiet summer with a dab in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and a recent CARS Late Model race at Dominion (Va.) Raceway, Diaz returns to Thunder Valley eager to pick up where he left off in the spring which saw the up-and-comer deliver his first K&N Pro Series East top-10 finish with an eighth in April’s Zombie Auto 150.
“It’s been too quiet of a summer – but I’m ready to get back to the track,” said Diaz. “My guys at MAD Motorsports and my crew chief Mike Darne have worked hard to get our car ready for Bristol and I’m optimistic that we can go there this week and contend for a top-five finish if not a win.”
Diaz was poised to compete in the double-header at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in May, but when another competitor collided with Diaz during practice, the damage proved fatal and forced the MAD Motorsports team to withdraw from the event and refocus their efforts.
“South Boston was tough, especially since we were so fast – but our performance there in practice is what is keeping us really upbeat about Bristol. We made some good gains from practice and even though we finished eighth, I still feel like we need to have a better balance. We worked on the setup aggressively during our break and I think we’ll have a competitive piece.”
When it comes to Bristol, Diaz realizes that the laps click off in a hurry and with a competition break expected near the halfway point, the 19-year-old knows he needs to be running inside the top-five and ready to pounce for the second half.
“It’s going to be an aggressive race,” Diaz added. “Everyone wants to run good at Bristol, especially during the summer race. It’s expected. Everyone’s there watching who is hot and who is not. I’m trying really hard to make a name for myself and show everyone that I have what it takes to compete and win races.
“My team works hard to give me that opportunity. Hopefully we can make it happen in 150 laps.”
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Additional support for Diaz’s third career K&N starts includes Prince William Marina, Graphix Unlimited and MDR (Mike Darne Racing).
“I’m very thankful for the support of my marketing partners,” Diaz mentioned. “The Sign Shop, Solid Rock Carriers and Prince William Marina have all stood by us through the good and bad this season and I really want to get them a checkered flag this year to show them how much their support means to me.”
Following Bristol, Diaz mentioned that his remaining racing schedule is still influx – but believes he could be back on the K&N East tour before the season ends in October.
“We’ll see how Bristol goes and then hope we can get back in a race or two before Dover,” Diaz mentioned. “I think a lot of it depends on how Bristol goes. Maybe we’ll get a chance to get back in an Xfinity car before the end of the year too. I want to race, just have to see how the cards unfold.”
The Bush’s Beans 150 (150 laps | 79.95 miles) is the ninth of 12 races on the 2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Thurs, Aug. 15 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:25 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The race will take the green flag shortly after 6:15 p.m. The event will be televised live on FansChoice.TV, while on a tape-delayed basis on NBC Sports Network (NCBSN) on Wed., Aug. 21 at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
MAD Motorsports PR