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, 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.
NASCAR TRIPLE TRUCK CHALLENGE: WWT Raceway has been selected as one of three tracks to host a lucrative and exciting challenge for NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series drivers. Thanks to the new Triple Truck Challenge, the winner of WWT Raceway’s Gateway 200 presented by CK Power will receive a bonus of $50,000 in addition to the posted purse. If a driver wins all three Triple Truck Challenge races – Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway and Gateway Motorsports Park – they will receive a bonus of $500,000.
The Triple Truck Challenge is:
A three-race, series-within-a-series competition.
Three consecutive races on the 2019 schedule: Texas Motor Speedway (June 7), Iowa Speedway (June 15) and Gateway Motorsports Park (June 22).
Exclusively for NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series drivers – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers are not eligible.
A $50,000 bonus – in addition to the posted purse -- for the team/driver who wins one of the three races.
A $500,000 total bonus – in addition to the posted purses -- for the team/driver who wins all three Triple Truck Challenge races.
A $50,000 bonus to the winner of WWT Raceway’s NASCAR Truck Series 200 certainly is a handsome payday unto itself. But if one driver wins Texas and Iowa and is headed for the $500,000 trifecta in St. Louis, the sparks (and probably fenders too) are going to fly.
RUMBLE BEFORE THE ROAR PARTY ZONE: WWT Raceway’s new Rumble Before the Roar ultimate pre-race party zone features DJs, the Gateway Girls, special guest appearances, beer Olympics, t-shirt giveaways and entertainment. The party zone opens at 3 p.m. and runs until the green flag is waved for the INDYCAR race. Admission is only $25 and includes a souvenir mug, complimentary beer and soft drinks and light snacks. The party zone expanse includes WWT raceway’s all-new cash bar, concession stand and food truck area. It’s the ultimate way to party with friends before a great night of racing under the lights. Ticket price increases to $30 at the gate. RBTR is open to adults age 21 and older. Race ticket required for entry.
RIDE TO THE RACETRACK SHUTTLE: WWT Raceway and the St. Clair County Transit District are teaming up to give NASCAR, INDYCAR and NHRA fans a lift to the races. Race fans will receive a round-trip bus ride to WWT Raceway events from the Fairview Heights MetroLink Station for only $5. The shuttle is a cost-effective and convenient alternative for fans travelling to and from WWT Raceway. Buses will run from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. The $5 ride ticket is cash-only. Buses will depart and return to the Fairview Heights MetroLink Station’s Park-and-Ride Lot at 9200 St. Clair Avenue in Fairview Heights, Illinois. Buses will drop fans off at WWT Raceway’s northwest parking area.
To purchase tickets or obtain additional more information, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.wwtraceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
About World Wide Technology Raceway
World Wide Technology Raceway is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. World Wide Technology Raceway’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue. World Wide Technology Raceway was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association. In 2018, owner and CEO Curtis Francois received the Innovator Award from the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission in recognition of his work for restoring World Wide Technology Raceway (known then as Gateway Motorsports Park) to prominence.