While most drivers competing in Saturday night’s CARS Response Energy Tour Throwback 276 will be running 138 laps in their respective race, Mason Diaz hopes to complete all 276 laps.
Diaz, the reigning Southern National Motorsports Park track champion, will compete in both the CARS Late Model Stock and CARS Super Late Model features on Saturday night. In what will be his first trip of the season to Hickory, Diaz hopes to come away with at least one win.
“Looking forward to my first time back at Hickory this season,” Diaz remarked. “We picked up many second-place finishes last season in the Late Model Stock. Our main goal is to finish both races in one piece. In the Late Model Stock, I’m hoping to give my best shot with the guys up front considering I have a lot of laps around the track.”
As confident as Diaz is about the Late Model Stock Car, he is even more confident in the Super Late Model. The Manassas, Virginia teenager has traveled to several southern tracks in the Super Late Model this season and recorded strong performances.
“I have not run a Super Late Model here before,” Diaz said. “But, with all the traveling my team and I have done to many different tracks, I believe we have a great shot at winning.”
For Diaz, qualifying fast in the afternoon and endurance will be his primary challenges. He will have to adjust quickly from the purpose-built, straight-rail Super Late Model to the grittier Late Model Stock Car while managing to stay cool in the summer heat.
“A major challenge this weekend will be qualifying because it is back to back qualifying and paying attention to the lines I run in each car,” Diaz explained. “Another challenge will be running both 138 lap features consecutively because of the heat and the distances of the races.”
So far this season, Diaz has scored a win in a Pro Late Model out at Five Flags Speedway and won in Legends races at Southern National Motorsports Park and Carteret County Speedway. However, his seat time in the Late Models has been limited thus far. Regardless, Diaz has remained on track in some capacity and remains thankful.
“I would like to thank Solid Rock Carriers, MAD Motorsports, The Sign Shop, JEDCO and all my teammates at Mike Darne Racing for getting my cars ready for this weekend,” Diaz commented. “I also want to thank my family and all my fans and supporters.”
Qualifying for the Throwback 276 will get underway at 4:45pm and the green flag will wave at 8pm. For fans unable to attend the race, Pit Row TV will produce a live broadcast on the CARSTour.TV subscription-based streaming service.