Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway

Milestone Start for Mittler Comes with Somber News

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team owner Mike Mittler celebrated his team’s milestone 300th start from his Missouri home as he battles cancer. The diagnosis was revealed on the Fox Sports 1 broadcast of the race at Martinsville Speedway, prior to a planned ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ on Lap 63, to honor Mittler.

Kyle Donahue had the honor of driving the No. 63 First Responder Racing Chevrolet Silverado in the Texas Roadhouse 200, the team’s 300th race. The underfunded team spent much of the day hovering just inside the top-20. When the checkered flag waved, Donahue crossed the line in 22nd, on the lead lap.

Following a caution near the end of the first stage, Donahue stayed on track. He restarted inside the top-10 with eight laps remaining in the stage. Donahue fought hard to remain inside the top-10 before slipping back to finish the stage in 11th.

Mittler’s No. 63 is one of just two teams that remain from the Truck Series’ inaugural season. His MB Motorsports team has given 49 drivers an opportunity to make their debut in NASCAR. Among the drivers that have competed for Mittler’s team are Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Jesse Little, J.J. Yeley, Justin Allgaier, and Regan Smith.

In the organization’s 300 starts, it has scored one top-five, three top-10s, and one pole position. Dirt track ringer Bobby Pierce earned the Mittler his first pole and top-five at Eldora Speedway in 2015. The first top-10 for the team came with Edwards in 2002 at Kansas Speedway.

In recent years, Mittler has worked out partnerships with others, such as Bobby Gerhart and D.J. Copp, to keep the No. 63 on track while also giving drivers opportunities to compete. This season, the team has attempted, and qualified, for 17 of the 20 races. Following Martinsville, Mittler’s team sits 30th in the Owner’s Championship.

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Seth Eggert is a college student that has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors his peers in multiple subjects.