Monday, August 18, 2014

Circle Bar's Tom Mitchell Passes Away

Longtime NASCAR team owner Tom Mitchell passed away yesterday in his hometown of Ozona, Texas at the age of 86.

Mitchell owned and operated the Circle Bar Truck Corral in Ozona, and was an avid supporter of motorsports for more than 40 years, owning teams in all three NASCAR National Series, as well as Indy Car. His teams all carried the Circle Bar Racing banner, copying the name of one of his cattle ranches.

He is best remembered for owning and sponsoring Rick Crawford’s NASCAR All-Pro and Camping World Truck Series teams for many years. He also owned an Indy Car Series team for driver Chet Fillip in the early 1980s. In 1985, he sold all his Indy Car equipment to Al Unser, Jr., who won the series championship the following season.

He was a major player in the Texas cattle industry – once owning more than a half-dozen ranches, the smallest measuring approximately 30,000 acres – and made a fortune from the discovery and excavation of natural gas on his ranch land. At one time, he owned the local cable TV company in Ozona, a pair of truck stops off I-10, a motel and RV Park, and many other businesses.

He was not the stereotypical NASCAR sponsor/owner, however, with Crawford saying his longtime team owner never saw the inside of his race shop, or watched him race in person.

Memorial services for Tom Mitchell have not yet been announced.

1 comment:

  1. Mitchell was among the sport's underrated giants. His #14 Fords won five times after beginning in the series in 1997, all driven by Rick Crawford. Crawford won at Homestead, Daytona, Martinsville, New Hampshire, and IRP.