and was a part of the series since its inception in 1995.
The veteran team owner almost scored a win in the dirt race at Eldora with dirt-track hot shoe Bobby Pierce, who won two straight pole positions at Eldora Speedway and finished second driving Mittler’s No. 63 in the race in 2015.
Kenny Wallace, who is from the St. Louis area and knew Mittler well.
— Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) May 10, 2019
Recently retired NASCAR Cup Series driver McMurray also shared his thoughts on the passing of Mittler, who he credits in giving him his big break in NASCAR years ago.
Lost a dear friend today. Mike Mittler gave me my first big break in NASCAR. He loved racing as much or more than anyone I have ever been around. I will always cherish the time I spent racing for Mike and his wife Bev. pic.twitter.com/0wpmJ74wKI
— Jamie McMurray (@jamiemcmurray) May 11, 2019
NASCAR Senior Vice-President for Racing and Innovation Steve O’Donnell was among the others to pay tribute to Mittler.
Very sad news tonight with the passing of Mike Mittler. Thinking about his family, @MBMotorsports and the #63 tonight. Mike was a special guy who was beloved in the racing community and a true representative of what @NASCAR is all about. 🙏
— Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) May 11, 2019
“Our entire team, and families, are saddened by the loss of Mike. 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.
“In addition to my work at the track, Mike had been a supporter of my family race team. He provided shocks to my son, Austin, when he was an eight-year-old Quarter Midget racer. When Austin was preparing for his first Super Late Model race, Mike was there at the track coaching him.
“Mike was special. He was a great man who inspired many. I value each moment shared with him through the years, especially those in the garage along with my son.”
, whose family was close with Mittler, also expressed his sadness with the news of his passing.
Devastated to lose a friend and mentor to Cancer today. Somethings just don’t make sense...