Former and current NASCAR drivers mourned the passing of former Truck Series owner Mike Mittler on Friday. Mittler was 67.
Mittler’s Truck teams competed in 301 series races from 1995-2018. Although his team never won a Truck race, it made an impact in NASCAR, providing rides for such drivers as Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Justin Allgaier and Brad Keselowski, among others. Copp Motorsports announced before the season it was dedicating the year to Mittler. The team changed its number from 83 to 63.
“If it wasn’t for people like Mike who have paved the way, we wouldn’t have the opportunities that we have now to participate in NASCAR,” Copp Motorsports owner DJ Copp said.
Mittler stated Oct. 3, 2017, on his Facebook page that he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He stated in that posting that he had his first chemo treatment that day and was at the shop after the treatment.
Many in the sport paid tribute to Mittler on Friday.
Chris Blair, executive vice president and general manager of World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, stated about Mittler: “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.”
Here is what others in the sport said about Mittler:
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
— Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) May 10, 2019
If you drove a race car in the Midwest you dreamed of Mike finding you. He gave a lot of racers the opportunity of a lifetime in his trucks. 2 of them became superstars! https://t.co/WTwYajiHvJ
Sorry to hear that legendary @NASCAR and short track racer Mike Mittler passed away today. Mike helped a lot of young drivers get their start and built equipment that we all use in our shops everyday. Thank you Mike.