Mason Diaz hasn’t been behind the wheel of a race car much this season. Graduating High School, serving as Assistant GM at Southern National Motorsports Park and getting ready to go to college at Old Dominion University kept Diaz busy this year but he’s ready to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Richmond Raceway on Friday in the GoBowling 250.

Diaz made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last fall at Martinsville Speedway. He did so in grand style qualifying ninth and running up front in the race finishing eighth in the first stage before finishing 23rd in the final rundown after a left rear tire went down running 12th.

The experience was invaluable to a driver who previously had only raced Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models throughout the southeast. He won the 2017 Southern National Motorsports Park track championship and rookie of the year in Late Models as well as the North Carolina state and Florida state NASCAR rookie titles.

This season he picked up a Pro Late Model victory at New Smyrna Speedway during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car racing. Then he followed that up by leading 45-laps in the Baby Rattler at South Alabama Speedway before settling for a second place finish.

Now he has his sights set on making laps and gaining experience in a new car that he’s never raced and on a track he’s never turned a lap on.

“It’s always exciting getting a chance to run a new higher series,” said Diaz. “I’m going in with tempered expectations. I’m looking to qualify solidly, run all the laps and keep the fenders on the car. If we can do that, that’ll be a good weekend for us.”

Diaz, 18, from Manassas, Virginia, will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with the same team that he made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut with last October, Brandonbilt Motorsports.

“I can’t thank Jerry Brown enough for giving us this opportunity at Richmond,” Diaz commented. “His team gave me a great truck at Martinsville last year and I expect nothing less at Richmond this weekend.”

Diaz’ car will adorn sponsorship from Solid Rock Carriers, Prince William Marina, Old Dominion University Batten College of Engineering and Technology Racing Virginia, DC Trails, Best, Grafix Unlimited and The Sign Shop.