A hard flip during the first lap of a heat race erased a year’s worth of work for Mason Linares. The incident occurred in the USRA factory stock class at Monarch Motor Speedway in Wichita Falls, Texas.
“When another car got under me, my car got a little squirrely,” Linares, 14, of East Duke, Oklahoma, said. “That’s when Clayton Alford’s car hit the back of mine. My left front dug in, and my car turned over and slammed down hard.”
The track safety crew and Alford quickly checked on Linares.
“I was hanging for what may be a minute or two, but it just seemed like too long,” said Linares. “Only my shoulders were sore come Sunday, but my car got hurt worse.”
Linares wore safety equipment, from head to toe, from Simpson. That included a Hybrid head-and-neck restraint system. He sat in an Ultra Shield Race Products full-containment seat, with a Simpson five-point harness.
The Chevrolet Malibu factory stock was a father-and-son project. Linares’s father, Chris Linares, taught him every facet of being a driver, starting with building a race car. Last season Linares raced his rookie season at his local track, Elk City Motor Speedway in Oklahoma. When that track did not open this season, they headed to Texas.
“[My father and I] built my car together, from the ground up,” Linares said. “Now, it’s bent pretty bad, and we have to bring it to a body shop to put it on a frame machine.”
Mason Linares looks forward to returning to Monarch Motor Speedway.
“Yes sir, I want to get right back up there and race,” said Linares. “I’m lucky that the track has monster trucks scheduled this coming weekend [and the factory stocks are off]. We’ll have some time to get the frame straightened and build a new body.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.