Since February, Zeigler has been charging back into the points battle; He heads to a track with former success this weekend
At the end of the 2017 racing season, 25-year-old Mason Zeigler decided to run the national dirt late model tour. Now, with the new season underway, the team has set the gps for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule.
In February, Zeigler didn’t qualify for one of the points paying main events. At that point, drivers with prefect attendance don’t always qualify for a provisional starting spot.
Instead, the series rules dictate that full-time drivers from the previous season are granted a provisional through Speedweeks, whether they intend to run full-time in the current season or not. It’s a rule that makes sense as otherwise the entire East Bay field would be offered provisionals.
Zeigler ran 20th on the first night at East Bay Raceway Park (Feb 5), 16th (Feb 6), 23rd (Feb 7). On February 8th, his missed the main event at East Bay. However, none of those 4 races were points paying main events. It’s more or less preliminary practice with a payout.
He bounced back the following night with a 5th place finish in the main event, that was the first points paying night of the week at East Bay. With that top-5, he jumped from 16th to 9th in the standings.
However, on the final night at East Bay, Zeigler didn’t finish the B Main. After running 5th the night before, he didn’t qualify for the big show. Zeigler dropped anchor on the points sheet, falling from 9th to 20th, last place of the drivers with perfect attendance to that point.
Since that night in Florida, Zeigler has been digging out of a hole. Mason Zeigler is still 14th of the 14 drivers that have participated in every event. He sits 95 points out of 12th in the standings.
Why is 12th important? The top 12 in points receive a $2,000 bonus, regardless of finishing position. It’s a reward for the series regulars. It’s a bonus that helps significantly when running 60 races in a season.
However, Zeigler is hear to stay and he’s heading into a good one this weekend at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri. Last time, he jumped to fast time in hist first time at the track. This time, he’s heading there was a notebook.
Can you run the tour from outside the top 12? Are you going to stick around and fight it out?
“Oh yeah, for sure. We’ve run pretty good. We just didn’t get a provisional in Florida.”
“We missed out on a race. It killed us by like 200 points. ”
“Just trying to crawl back out of that.”
I think I remember you running good at Lucas Oil Speedway last year?
“Yeah. We set fast time and ran up front for awhile. Then, got in an altercation there and had to fall out. That was the first time we were ever there, we’re not too bad.”
I’m pretty sure that you’re looking forward to this weekend then.
“That’s right. We’re excited. I think we got a good package and we’ll be alright.”
The first night of the 2018 Show-Me 100 begins tonight in Wheatland, Missouri.