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Mason Maggio Salvages 24th-Place Finish in Floridian Motorsports Debut Race

Mason Maggio Floridian Motorsports 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut Atlanta Motor Speedway FR8 208 Carl Long crew chief

Photo Credit: Mason Maggio on X

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has served as a proving ground for young up-and-coming driving talent and race teams looking to make their start since the series was established in 1995. The series features an incredible dichotomy as you have bigger teams with budgets in the millions of dollars on one end of the garage, and you also have upstart teams such as Floridan Motorsports, which made its debut in Saturday’s FR8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with driver Mason Maggio.

Maggio is a 20-year-old racer from Florida who one day wants to race in the NASCAR Cup Series, but right now he races for a team that is building itself from the ground up. While the new team narrowly missed making the field in Daytona, they flashed some great speed in qualifying as they started 26th in the 33-truck field, and at points in Saturday’s race, Maggio was mixing it up inside the top 15. Ultimately, Maggio would settle for a 24th-place finish.

All-in-all, the FR8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway wasn’t a bad debut for Floridian Motorsports.

“It was pretty good. I wish the result kind of reflected where we were running,” Maggio explained to TobyChristie.com after the race. “I’ve been telling people ever since the end of the race, I said man, ‘I’ve never been disappointed with [24th].’ We did everything we needed to do today. Played it safe for the first two Stages. Actually [we] found ourselves in the top 15 there and were racing up there after everything cycled through before the end of the second Stage.

Maggio had a storybook debut for Floridian Motorsports in his sights until a tire failure led to an unscheduled pit stop.

“[I] Was running top-20 there. Just had a right front go down right as we were coming to the restart going into Turn 1,” Maggio recalled. “I think we easily could have finished 17th, 18th, something like that. But the truck is in one piece. We’ve got something to build on. I think all things considered, 25th isn’t that bad. I just wish our run could have reflected in the results. Overall, [I’m] happy. Thankful for the opportunity.”

While the main headline of the story is that the Floridian Motorsports team had a successful debut, a sidebar from the successful weekend for the team had to be the impact of Carl Long atop the pit box. Maggio had nothing but praise for the crew chief of the No. 21 Ford F-150.

“I’ve worked with Carl in the past. I made my Xfinity Series debut with him last year. I’ve got a good relationship with Carl. Carl is always going to have a special place in my heart with that Xfinity Series debut and giving me a rebound opportunity when I got kicked out of one. He did a great job up on the box,” Maggio said. “He’s very, very smart. Obviously, has a lot of experience in this sport. I knew I was going to be in good hands. He took care of me.”

With a positive weekend in the books, the question becomes; what is next for Floridian Motorsports? That remains to be seen, but Maggio says they expect to compete at a traditional mile-and-a-half track sometime soon — maybe even next week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“This deal came together kind of last minute. We’ll see. We’re just piecing it all together, right? That’s part of it. I think we’ve only got a little bit of damage from the right front blowing. But we’ll see,” Maggio stated. “It all comes down to the right race, the right timing, putting everything together properly. I guess we’ll see. Vegas is a conversation that we were having. We’ll have to take this truck with us, but we’ll see. If not Vegas, I’m sure you’re going to see us at another mile-and-a-half at some point in the next month or two.”

After a successful debut, which was derailed by a flat tire, keep an eye out for the return of Floridian Motorsports.

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