By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
2021 was a success story for Visconti Motorsports.
Earning three top-fives, five top-10’s, and one pole were small victories for the small team based out of Mooresville, North Carolina. With Mason Diaz behind the wheel, Visconti Motorsports tallied a sixth-place finish in ARCA Menards Series East points. The sixth-place finish wasn’t a display of how their 2021 went though as they held second in points a majority of the season.
The small team finished second to Joe Gibbs Racing and Sammy Smith twice during the 2021 season and nearly found victory lane at Southern National Motorsports Park. Visconti Motorsports season ended on a rough note with ignition failure at Bristol.
Visconti Motorsports exclusively spoke with Kickin’ the Tires about the 2022 campaign and how the organization is building off its success of the 21′ season.
“We are very proud of how the 2021 season shaped up,” said John Visconti III, owner of Visconti Motorsports. “We are proud of the accomplishments we were able to mount up with Mason (Diaz) and wish we wouldn’t have had that catastrophic ignition failure at Bristol to end the season.
Outside of that, our small team was able to go up against the bigger teams like the Gibbs, GMS’s, and Venturini’s and that is something I feel our organization will really pride itself on going into 2022.”
Despite three finishes outside the top-10, Diaz was able to finish 10th or better in five of the eight ARCA Menards Series East races. With the combination races at the end of the season, Diaz earned his third career top-10 finish in the ARCA National Series at Iowa.
Visconti confirmed though that Diaz will not return to the organization in 2022 as he will be venturing to other endeavors. He also confirmed that they don’t have a full-time driver signed with the organization yet but have a driver working on final details to run a full-time schedule in the ARCA Menards Series East.
“Mason will not be back with us in 2022 but we are working on a driver for the full ARCA Menards Series East schedule next season, we just have a few more hurdles to jump through. This driver is signed to the first two ARCA East races at New Smyrna and Pensacola, we’ll reveal his name at a later date.
“I’ll add, it has made it very difficult to set our goals for 2022 but we have always set the same goals starting out. We want to finish inside the top-five every race but most importantly we want to finish every race with all four tires and fenders intact.”
Tommy Baldwin Jr. was one of the masterminds behind the 21′ success as crew chief for the organization. Visconti confirmed though that Baldwin will not be the crew chief for 2022 but will continue to have a crucial part in the organization in a leadership role.
“Tommy (Baldwin) and I have known each other for a very long time since we were in our mid-teens as both our Dads turned circles together,” said Visconti. “Tommy has been a big part of our growth and success. He will continue to do so as a technical alliance for each race.”
Much like in 2021, the final three races of the 2022 season are in conjunction with the ARCA National Series. Visconti Motorsports will for sure race in those final three races but has a goal to run in a few other National Series races.
“We are planning on running a few National Series races in 2022,” said Visconti. “Honestly though, we want to put all of our marbles into the same bag and that is going out and winning the ARCA Menards Series East title. I personally feel like if we can win that title, our promotion to the ARCA National Series will be a for sure thing. So that is our number one goal and where we are putting all of our focus.”
Visconti really prides himself on how his race team prides itself in being one of the old school race teams left in the ARCA Menards Series, East, and West. He’s very thankful for the support he gets from his sponsors like Lucas Oil, Bomber Eyewear, and Mechanix Wear.
“Mechanix Wear, Bomber Eyewear, and Lucas Oil don’t need Visconti Motorsports but they are supporters of what we have going on here and how we are doing it,” Visconti said proudly. “I feel that is a big thing that our current and future partners look at when they see Visconti Motorsports. We present ourselves as a professional team and sponsors like that. When you dig deeper, you see we’re doing a lot with little and I feel like that is a major draw for sponsors coming on board with us, at least that’s what I hope they see.”
Visconti added that they are preparing cars for a full season but as noted above, the driver isn’t fully signed just yet. An announcement will come as soon as the organization can confirm that details are finalized.
Photo: Christian Koelle/CCK Photography