Larry Mason Long Beach race report

Making his Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series debut for Brian Stewart Racing, Mason overcame getting hit and spun out by another driver to finish his first race in 10th place! Mason qualified 13th and made up a couple of spots in turn one at...

Making his Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series debut for Brian Stewart Racing, Mason overcame getting hit and spun out by another driver to finish his first race in 10th place!

Mason qualified 13th and made up a couple of spots in turn one at the start when two Team Dorricott drivers took each other out of the race. On lap 22 of 38, Mason's teammate, rookie Andy Booth, went down the escape road in turn six. As Mason slowed down for the waving yellow flag, he was hit hard from behind by Rudy Junco, Jr. The contact caused Mason to spin and roll backward towards the wall. "I put the brakes on to prevent any contact with the wall but the engine stalled. I tried to re-start but the engine wouldn't turn over. I motioned to the corner workers to give me a push start, but they were looking at my teammate. I thought that my race in the King Taco/Trench Shoring/Dayton car was over. I tried to start it again and it fired up, so I took off to the pits. My crew checked out the damage and sent me back out," explained Mason.

Unfortunately, Mason exceeded the 50-mph pit lane speed limit and had to come back in for a drive-through penalty. On that trip through the pits, he had a blend line violation and then was black-flagged for a 20-second penalty. When he left the pits, the clutch was slipping so much he thought his day was done again. "I got on the radio and apologized to the crew for frying the clutch, but as I slowly rolled, I tried to accelerate and it did! At that point I started clicking off lap after lap that were two seconds quicker than I qualified at! After the race the crew told me that I was catching the guys in front of me and that they were really pleased with my progress."

"Finishing this race in the top 10 is a dream come true. It's the culmination of a 22-year dream to get to this point. I'm thrilled with the result and know that without the incident, I could have finished even higher! This was absolutely the greatest day of my life! It's been like a combination of every single Christmas and birthday rolled into one!"

According to his Polar heart rate monitor Mason's heart rate peaked at 172 beats per minute during the race and averaged 167 bpm during the green flag laps. "It was definitely exciting for me out there and exciting for The Muscular Dystrophy Association as well" beamed Mason after the race. They benefited by Mason's top ten finish. By finishing in the top 10, Mason will be doubling the percentage of his race purse to be given to the MDA over an 11th or lower placing. He also had race fans autograph his race car to raise additional funds to help send one of "Jerry's kids" to camp this summer.

The Brian Stewart Racing Team was so pleased with Mason's progress; they want him to continue for the remainder of the season if proper funding can be found. The chief steward of the series was also very happy and echoed those sentiments.

"I have to send a big thank you out to my crew guys - Neil, John, Tim, Mo, Chris, Joe, and my engineer Doug Zister, team manager Doug, Hoy, and of course to Brian Stewart for giving me this opportunity. Additionally, special thanks go out to Fred MacIntosh, Randy Rike, Guy Sappington, Sonia Rosado, Kay Presto, and Sophie Bergeron for all their help with the behind the scenes work."

Team LMR Sponsor List:

King Taco, Trench Shoring, Dayton Tires, Valvoline, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Polar Heart Rate Monitors, Southland Industries, James Stearman - Attorney at Law, PowerBar, Racer X, Jay-Ell Marketing Co., Performance Plus, The Car Show, Price Transfer, Inc., MCF Studios, Specialty Tool & Bolt, Cold Fusion, Russell G. Burton - Optometrist, Dr. Jamie MacDougall, Robin's Signs, Matilde Rivera, Fred MacIntosh, and Brad Long.

-TLMR

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andy Booth , Rudy Junco