FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – It’s been a little more than two weeks since Willie Mullins scored a stunning runner-up finish in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards opener at Daytona International Speedway.
The runner-up finish in the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire came with a lot of media obligations. He had to go to the Daytona International Speedway Media Center and answer questions and he took part in several interviews via phone in the days that followed.
Mullins, 37, is still trying to wrap his head around it all.
“It was a lot to take in,” Mullins recalled. “When they looked at us and said I had to go to the Media Center, I was like what? I’ve never had to do that before. We had a friend of ours there who whisked us away so we could get over there. Thankfully we were able to sit down and take a couple minute break while we were waiting on (third-place) Sheldon Creed to get to the Media Center.
“It was pretty neat to sit down and talk to everybody and get ourselves published in USA Today and the Washington Post and be on the AP Wire. It was definitely more than I ever thought it could be. It was just an unbelievable feeling.
“Honestly, it’s still hard to believe it. It’s hard to believe we finished second at Daytona.”
However, the minute the race ended Mullins had to shift his attention back to reality. Daytona was effectively a vacation for Mullins and his volunteer crew, most of whom traveled to the race from Virginia.
“The whole time we were in the Media Center I was thinking about getting out to help the guys tear the car down in inspection after the race,” Mullins said. “We’ve got a small volunteer crew and I wanted to make sure I was out there helping them.”
The day after the race Mullins was heading home, driving the Mullins Racing hauler the 13 hours back to Fredericksburg, Va., so he could return to his day job at Bugsy’s Auto Body & Repair the next day.
“After that we had to get the car loaded up and first thing the next morning we started the 13 hour drive back to Virginia. I drove the hauler the entire way back so we could get home and get back to work,” Mullins continued. “Now we’re back in the swing of things here at the shop trying to fix trash trucks and customer vehicles. We’re back to making money so we can try and go to Talladega.
“We work hard at Bugsy’s Auto because that is how we pay for racing,” Mullins continued. “We have a few corporate sponsors like Crow Wing Recycling and CW Metals. That, combined with all the work here at the shop we get from the folks over at County Waste, allows us to go racing. County Waste isn’t a traditional sponsor, but we wouldn’t be able to race without them.”
“We work hard every day here at the shop and we’re able to put together a great car with great people. I believe with my life that nobody can out work us. They can out money us, but they can never out work us. I think our work and our work ethic shows in our results at Daytona.”
Mullins Racing is currently seeking sponsorship in order to compete in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards General Tire 200 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on April 27. Interested parties may contact Dinah Mullins at firstname.lastname@example.org.