FRAM®, the market leader in filtration products, is pleased to announce that Mullins Racing, a FRAM-Sponsored dirt late model team, will be taking part in a very special race this weekend. On May 19, Mullins will take part in the Mike Roland Memorial Race at Richmond Raceway, in Richmond, KY, dedicated to Mullins’ late uncle.
Mike Roland was a constant presence at race tracks throughout Kentucky and Indiana, spending most of his life at the tracks. From a young age, Mike was a fixture of the racing community, eventually working at various tracks. His many jobs included track official, pit coordinator, tow-vehicle operator and track promoter. He gained a reputation of being a warm and receptive individual who would help any fan or team in need of assistance in the racing community. Over 40 years, he worked at six different regional tracks, until his passing in 2016.
“At one point he lived on the grounds of Florence Speedway, working in security and track maintenance, and that shows how dedicated he was”, says Brian Mullins, owner of Mullins Racing and nephew of Mike Roland. “It’s true for any activity or passion – if you’re that heavily vested in the community, you’ll pretty much know everyone. And that’s especially true of my uncle.”
Working at the Richmond Raceway at the time of his passing, the track has honoured Mike in a number of ways. But foremost to his recognition is the race that bears his name. Mullins, who until two years ago focused his competitive career solely in road-racing motorcycles, was contacted by Mike’s wife to partake in the dirt late model race remembering the man who helped support him in his racing dreams.
“The race has become a wonderful tribute to the whole family – all of my uncle’s siblings and families receive complementary passes to attend the race, which is incredibly special to experience together. My dad - Mike’s brother - often helps me with my car, so it’s a fun experience for him, as well.”
The race, which boasts a winner’s pay-out of $10,000, has become a popular event, even if only in its second year of existence. Mullins hopes that the improvements made to his car, including a complete engine rebuild and upgrading to Autolite Iridium XP plugs and FRAM filters, since last year’s running of the event will help propel Mullins Racing into a competitive slot in the race. “Last year, 40 cars came for the event. This year, we only expect more people to join, and hope that we are able to show up and stay competitive.”
Regardless of the result, Mullins is excited and humbled to be able to participate in the race that pays tribute to one member of an incredibly supportive family who have followed throughout his racing career. “Mike was incredibly happy and very proud of my racing – he and my dad were able to watch me race [motorcycles] before I started my dirt late model career. Watching them in the stands was like seeing the two of them as kids, when they first became interested in racing. And now being able to take part in this race is very special, as well.”
To learn more about the race, click here.