Auburn's Tanner heads to Martinsville for his '12 NASCAR truck series debut March 31
March 15, 2012 · 5:38 PM
Tyler Tanner makes his 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at legendary Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in the Kroger 250 on March 31.
Tanner will drive the No. 65 MB Motorsports Ford F-150 sponsored by EF-65 Hand Cleaner.
"This is an exciting time for me and the team," Tanner said. "I feel Martinsville is the best place for us to start off in 2012, given it was the last race of the year for me. Our team is compiled of a great group of people with the desire to contend for great finishes.
"To be able to drive one of Mike Mittler's trucks, knowing the amazing talent he has helped develop through the years is really and honor," Tanner added. "I just want to do my best for the folks at EF-65 who are sponsoring us at Martinsville, earn the respect of the other drivers and bring the truck home in one piece."
Tanner, an Auburn High graduate and engineering student at Arizona State University, is the son of former Northwest circuit standout Kelly Tanner.
Mentoring Tanner will be Mittler, the MB Motorsports owner who has been instrumental in the careers of Carl Edwards, Jamie Mc Murray, Brad Keselowski, Regan Smith and Justin Allgaier.
"I've known Tyler a long time and I have all the confidence in the world that he will do very well," Mittler said.
Tanner made his first series start last October, finishing 30th in the 36-truck field at the Kroger 200 at Martinsville. Starting 31st, Tanner completed 195 of the 200 laps around Martinsville's half-mile oval. It was his first start in the series.
"Martinsville was a success for us here in the fall with Tyler's first start in the series," Mittler said. "Tyler took care of the equipment and learned a lot from everyone. Tyler adapted quickly to all the changes, and with all of the practice's being shortened by rain, we felt our Martinsville experience was 100-percent successful. I am looking forward to having another successful race for the EF-65 Ford."
Tanner enjoyed a successful short-track season locally in 2011. He posted seven pole positions, three victories and eight top-three finishes in his EF-65 Hand Cleaner-sponsored late model Chevrolet at Rochester's South Sound Speedway. He also raced at Spokane County Raceway, Yakima Speedway and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe.
He began his racing career at the age of 5 competing in quarter midgets. He also has raced go-karts, full midgets, mini sprints and at the age of 17, began racing in he late model division.
Tanner is the latest phenomenon to come out of the Pacific Northwest. The region has produced NASCAR superstars, such as Camas' Greg Biffle, a two-time truck series champion and NASCAR Nationwide Series champion; Enumclaw's Kasey Kahne, a 2004 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year; and Spanaway's Derrike Cope, the 1990 Daytona 500 winner.
Sponsor link: www.ef-65.com