More Firsts For One Of The Original NCWTS Teams
Having raced in every season since the Nascar Camping World Truck Series debuted in 1995, MB Motorsports has experienced a lot of firsts. The Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway was not only their first race on dirt, but also marked another first for the little, part time team from Wright City, MO.
"In the nineteen seasons we've been racing in the truck series," notes team owner Mike Mittler, "we had never run four consecutive races- until now. In the past, the schedule has been broken up with a track that's beyond the distance we usually travel within. This year, though, things just worked out so we ran four in a row and that's really something for us."
The trip to Eldora was a learning experience for all the teams, as not only had the NCWTS never run on dirt, but the last time NASCAR raced on dirt, 1970, most of the drivers in the field hadn't been born yet. "Eldora was definitely a learning experience for me," says 20 year old Justin Jennings, driver of the #63 LG Seeds Ford. "Mike [Mittler] saw that I was wracking my brain just to get a handle on things and asked Kenny Schrader if he'd give me some pointers, which he did. Everybody in racing loves Kenny Schrader and for good reason. He took the time to help me out when he had his own team to take care of. Everything he told me, I was able to apply out on the track and man, I went from slippin' and slidin' to runnin' smooth, fast laps. Well, at least as smooth a lap as you can run on dirt," he adds with a smile.
Jennings finished 4th, behind Ryan Newman, in his Heat Race to make the field, which required him to make the field by scoring a top 5 finish in the last chance qualifying race. A gutsy dive to the inside at the start of the qualifying race propelled Justin into thrid place, where he stayed before the caution came out with four to go. An eventual fourth place finish secured a 29th starting position for the LG SEEDS Ford. Jennings applied what he learned from Schrader to keep the fenders on the LG SEEDS Ford and bring it home in 23rd place.
"This race is easily the biggest race I've ever been in. It was like the Daytona 500 had come to the truck series- on dirt. It was amazing," said Jennings. Mittler agreed, adding "This Mudsummer Classic was just a class act from start to finish. Tony Stewart and his folks made an unbelievable effort to make this event happen and it was flawless. I can't say enough about it. My old friend Kenny Schrader helped us out a bunch, too, mentoring young Justin on the ways of dirt track racing."
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