Mason Diaz impressed in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, qualifying inside the top-10 and running in the top-15 for much of the race until a cut tire relegated him to a 23rd place finish.
Diaz, 17, from Manassas, Virginia, made his debut driving for Brandonbilt Motorsports fresh off a Pro Late Model victory at Southern National Motorsports Park. Diaz won the track championship at Southern National back in September and ran inside the top-10 for much of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Late Model race at Martinsville Speedway on September 23rd before getting caught up in an accident.
Diaz’s goals at Martinsville in Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 were to just make the field and complete every lap. Diaz ended up making the race and, while he didn’t finish on the lead lap due to a cut tire late in the race, he did finish the race without being involved in an accident.
“I feel like I accomplished all of my goals this weekend,” Diaz said. “I wanted to qualify for the race and I did that. I qualified ninth. My other goal was to complete all the laps and have the truck in one piece. Even though I didn’t complete all the laps, I did finish out the race and the truck had all the fenders on it.”
Throughout the day on Saturday, Diaz impressed, earning praise from other drivers on social media and getting credit from the commentators on Fox Sports and MRN Radio.
“It was very exciting to have people looking at me,” Diaz explained. “Getting out of the truck after qualifying and have new reporters at your pit box to talk to you when you’re a rookie and it’s your second day in the truck, it was very exciting. I wish we could have had a better finish but we ran up front and would have had a top-15 without the bad luck, but it was still a great weekend.”
During the regular season, Diaz scored seven late model wins at two different tracks as well as 23 top-5 finishes and 35 top-10 finishes at six different tracks in three different states. He picked up a victory in the prestigious Rusty Harpe Memorial at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina during the summer and scored five wins at Southern National Motorsports Park. Diaz also won NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Rookie of the Year honors in North Carolina and Florida.
Between his breakthrough season in late models and his success at Martinsville Speedway in both the truck and late model races, Diaz is looking to the rest of the season with confidence. He will compete in the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National in November and then finish out the season running in the Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway in December.
“It’s just giving me more momentum going into the last two races of the year which are the two biggest races of the year for me,” Diaz commented. “I’m looking forward to the races and I’m very proud of the year I’ve had from Mike Darne Racing and Brandonbilt Motorsports and everyone who has helped me and supported me this year.”
Mason Diaz is supported by The Sign Shop, Mike Darne Racing, Prince William Marina, Concord Automotive, Convenience Car Care, Accent Imaging and the Potomac Shores Golf Club. To learn more about Mason Diaz Racing, check out his website at www.masondiaz24.com, “like” Mason Diaz Racing on Facebook or follow @masondiazracing on Twitter.
Press release by: Andy Marquis
Photo credit: Ken Childs/Martinsville Speedway