Longtime NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series team owner Mike Mittler passed away on Friday, May 10, following a long and courageous battle with cancer. The respected St. Louis-area race team owner had been involved in racing for more than 50 years and had a hand in the early careers of NASCAR stars Rusty Wallace and Kenny Wallace. In 1995, Mittler launched MB Motorsports and fielded front-running rides for NASCAR stars like Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, Regan Smith and Spencer Boyd, to name a few.
To honor Mike, World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, will name its NASCAR trophy after the local legend. From now on, the annual NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series Gateway 200 presented by CK Power’s trophy will be known as the Mittler Memorial Trophy. The trophy will be presented to the winner of the race by current and former members of the MB Motorsports team and Mittler family members.
WWT raceway also will distribute 2,500 "This one’s for Mike" wristbands on Saturday, June 22. On lap 63, all crewmembers will stand on pit wall in honor of Mike. All employees and family members of Mittler Brothers and MB Motorsports will be guests of WWT Raceway owner and CEO Curtis Francois and Executive Vice President and General Manager GM Chris Blair.
"We encourage all fans to wear blue and yellow – Mittler’s colors — to the race on June 22," said Blair. "Our entire team was saddened by Mike’s passing. He was a great friend and loyal supporter of our track. I had known Mike a long time before my move to St. Louis and he welcomed me and treated me like family upon my move. Mike was special. He was a great man who inspired many.
"Mike understood the importance of our track to the St. Louis community and he was working hand in hand with us to revitalize NASCAR racing at our venue. He was proud to be a St. Louis businessman and a NASCAR team owner. Mike was constantly asking what he could do to help and was there for us whenever we needed him. He was actively involved in our race promotions, off-site activations, communication with NASCAR and connecting us to the local business community. He was more than just a team owner, or a sponsor. Mike was part of our family.
"Whenever we have a NASCAR race at this track, Mike will be a part of that race. His goal was to see us reach our full potential and he remained involved in our ultimate goal of bringing more NASCAR racing to St. Louis until the very end. We will keep working hard to make Mike proud and working hard on the mission we started many years ago."
The June 22 Gateway 200 presented by CK Power for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series features an exciting mix of future stars and series regulars, including Matt Crafton, Brett Moffitt, Stewart Friesen, Johnny Sauter and local favorite Jordan Anderson. The ARCA Menards Series Day to Day Coffee 150 showcases the stock car racing stars of tomorrow, including Michael Self, Harrison Burton and Christian Eckes.
Adult general admission tickets for this one-day doubleheader start at $40. Kids 15 and under are free. Spectator gates open at 9:30 a.m. with the first practice session at 10:35 a.m. Qualifying begins at 4:30 p.m., with the ARCA race scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m., followed by the NASCAR race at 9 p.m. The driver autograph session is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and will be located beneath the main grandstand.
— World Wide Technology Raceway —