MB Motorsports has a history of highs and lows at Texas Motor Speedway and the WinStar World Casino 350K was no exception. Jack Smith started the #63 SealWrap / Operation Homefront Ford in 34th position, but quickly moved up ten spots once the green flag flew. A few early cautions led Crew Chief Paul Andrews to use pit strategy to gain track position. While the leaders pitted, Andrews called for Smith to stay out and re-start in 3rd position. Once the green flag fell, Smith moved up to 2nd with Kevin Harvick falling in behind him. The older tires eventually showed their lack of grip and Smith was forced to drop back.
On lap 96 the #55 truck lost control in the turn and left Smith nowhere to go, collecting the SealWrap / Operation Homefront Ford. It was a hard hit that sent Smith to the infield care center for review.
"We were running so well and had moved up a ton of positions when we got collected in someone else's troubles." Said Smith. "I hate it for our friends at SealWrap, the service members we had with us from Operation Homefront and all the Haliburton folks. The way the SealWrap Ford was handling, we were set for a great finish. We showed just how good a truck we had on that re-start when we were able to stay upfront for a while on old tires. I know that sometimes that's the way racing goes, but it doesn't make it hurt any less when you have such a strong truck."
Team owner Mike Mittler started the night with a heavy heart, thinking both of Tony Roper, who was lost in a tragic accident at TMS in 2000, and the memory of the death of his father just one year earlier. Said Mittler, "It was very disappointing to end the season this way after running so strong, however, I am grateful that Jack walked away and can race again. We had the SealWrap folks with us at the track, as well as our servicemen from Operation Homefront and some Mittler Brothers customers, too. When you're running as well as we were in the first half of the race, you have such high hopes for a strong finish and to get caught up in an accident is really disappointing."
Added Mittler, "I would like to thank our sponsor SealWrap for all they have done to support us and for all the volunteer help we have, as without them we would never be able to race at this level."
"This was the best handling, strongest running truck I've ever had," lamented Smith. "Carl Edwards, who drove for Mike and still comes by to support his mentor, gave me some great advice after the wreck. It meant a lot to hear his words of encouragement and I want to thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to me. Carl's a class act."
Mittler reminds us, "This race is our last of the season and marks the end of this year's campaign for Operation Homefront. I know we say it every race, but we ask race fans to support this worthy organization by texting HERO to 50555 to make a $5 donation to support the families of those serving our country."
According to Jim Knotts, President and CEO of Operation Homefront, "Operation Homefront is excited to have had the support of MB Motorsports, Boswell & Associates and SealWrap during the 2011 NASCAR Truck Races. Their commitment and championship of Operation Homefront's mission to provide emergency financial and other services to the families of our services members is remarkable. On behalf of the service members we support, Operation Homefront thanks you."
MB Motorsports PR