USAR: Mike Mason announces 2006 plans

Mason Ready To Take On 2006 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Schedule Huntersville, NC (October 11, 2005) - Mike Mason will begin his quest for the United Speed Alliance Racing (USAR) Hooters Pro Cup Series Rookie of the Year title at USA International ...

Mason Ready To Take On 2006 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Schedule

Huntersville, NC (October 11, 2005) - Mike Mason will begin his quest for the United Speed Alliance Racing (USAR) Hooters Pro Cup Series Rookie of the Year title at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL Saturday, February 25.

The 250-lap event on the .075-mile Florida oval is the first of 12 Southern Division races announced by USAR Hooters Pro Cup for the 2006 season.

"Last year, we sat in the backstretch grandstand for the season opening Hooters Pro Cup race at Lakeland and told ourselves we'd be racing in the 2006 opener there," said Mason, 18 and a graduate of Mesa Marin Speedway in Bakersfield, CA. "I can't wait to go back there this February, be on the track and in the race in the No. 75 Mason Motorsports Ford Taurus."

The Lakeland raceway will be on Mason's dance card four times throughout the 2006 campaign. In addition to the season-opener, the Southern division will return for 250-lap events on June 3 and September 2. The track will also host the final race of the 2006 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series November 25.

The 2006 season-opening event will mark a return to Lakeland for Mason, who made his Hooters Pro Cup debut at the track last September finishing 11th in the Lucas Oil 250.

"We ran well at Lakeland in September and we'll be looking to do even better at the four races we run there in 2006," said Mason. "It's a great track and we got a lot of experience in those 250 laps last September. There's nothing like having experience at a race track, so we'll be looking to run even better when we begin the season there in February."

In all, the 2006 Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division will compete at eight different tracks in six states. Included in the schedule is a 150-lap event at Bristol (TN) Motor Speedway on Wednesday, August 25.

"I'm really looking forward to the Bristol race," said Mason. "Every short track racer wants to compete there. Bristol is the premiere short track in the country and our race will be held in conjunction with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race that night, sothere will be a huge crowd. It's going to be a great experience to race there."

The 12-race Southern Division season will again be capped by the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series. The first 'playoff' system of its kind to be implemented for a national touring stock car series beginning in 2001, the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series will pit the top cars from the Southern Division against their Northern counterparts.

What's different in 2006 will be the Championship Series will be expanded from five races to six.

"The reason for extending the Championship Series to six races was to even up the number of races between the Northern and Southern Divisions," said Tony Cox, Hooters Pro Cup Series vice president. "In the past, we've had 12 races in the North and 13 races in the South. Next season, we'll have 12 races in both divisions and six races in the Championship Series.

"By having six races, it also allows teams to have a bad race, or two, and still come back to win the title. But the drivers won't be the only ones to benefit from the extension. Fans will get an extra chance to catch a glimpse of the best of both divisions racing on the same track."

The USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series open the 2006 Championship Series at Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA September 15. The event will be one of the first to be run on the all-new track currently under construction and designed by NASCAR star Rusty Wallace.

"I can't wait for the season to get started," stated Mason. "We're going to do quite a bit of testing over the winter and we'll be ready to go at Lakeland. Our goal is to run well at each race and be eligible for the Championship Series at season's end. We'll also be looking to take the Rookie of the Year title and the $10,000 bonus that goes along with it. It's going to be a very exciting year."

-www.mason-motorsports.com.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Rusty Wallace