Willie Mullins finished 17th in his Charlotte Motor Speedway ARCA Menards Series debut on Thursday evening, but that isn’t what the driver from Virginia will remember most about the General Tire 150.
For Mullins, what he’ll remember most is how his race team and the ARCA Menards Series garage rallied around him to make sure he made it out on track after an unfortunate incident during qualifying earlier in the day.
“We had to have everything fall into place just right,” Mullins said. “Everybody brought a piece to the puzzle to put it all back together.”
After Mullins spun his No. 3 Crow Wing Recycling/CW Metals Ford and nosed the car into the backstretch wall, the Mullins Racing crew went to work. There wasn’t a lot of damage on the car, but it was a lot of damage for the team to repair in four hours ahead of the 9 p.m. start time for the General Tire 150.
“After the car hit the wall it broke the motor mount tab off the bell-housing on the left side, it bent the ear, knocked the radiator out of it and busted up the nose of the car,” Mullins said. “It wasn’t a lot of damage, but enough that we really had to work at it for four hours to get it fixed.”
Thanks to hard work from his volunteer crew and the help of multiple people in the ARCA Menards Series garage, the Mullins Racing team were able to get the car repaired and out on the grid just in time for the start of the General Tire 150.
“For me, it made us feel appreciated by everybody in ARCA, including the competitors,” Mullins said. “Bill Kimmel came over to us and told us what a hell of a job we did to put the thing back together and go out and turn laps. Dick Dohney came over while I was on the grid and couldn’t believe how good the car looked after we put it back together.
“I just want to thank everybody that had a part in it,” Mullins said. “Johnny Davis, over in the Xfinity Series garage, was a huge part in getting the car back together because he runs the same radiators as we do. Josh Williams let us use the nose off of his superspeedway car that was sitting over at Greg Purkey’s shop.”
Mullins wanted to express his gratitude for everyone that came to his aid Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway because without everyone’s help, he would have never gotten the chance to race.
“I just want all these people to know how much it means to me for my team and the garage area to rally around us and help us,” Mullins said. “It meant the world to me and I wanted them to know that. Without them we weren’t racing Thursday. So thank you to each and every one of them.”
The No. 3 Mullins Racing Ford carries sponsorship support from County Waste, CW Metals, Crow Wing Recycling, Bugsy's Auto, Snap On by Timmy Brann, Sherwin Williams Paint and Dinah Marie Photography.
For more information on Mullins Racing, please visit mullinsracing.net, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mullinsracing and follow them on Twitter at @mullins_racing.