By Brody Jones
The name Nick Hoffman might not ring any bells for casual fans, but this young 18-year old is the latest driver to drive a truck for the Mittler Brothers and is poised to make his 2nd career start at Nashville SuperSpeedway this week-end. “Basically I started off running dirt modifieds.” said Hoffman. “Then I started running asphalt late models and quarter midgets when I started along with Lazy Cars, Bandoleros, the typical kid’s path to NASCAR.” Hoffman was running dirt modifieds when one day, he got the opportunity of a lifetime, to drive for the Mittler Brothers in the Camping World Truck Series. “When I was a kid, I would joke with Mike (Mittler) and Carl (Edwards) to one day let me drive their truck.” joked Hoffman ”I’m really appreciative of this opportunity, it’s really big for us. My dad worked for Mike when Carl was in the Trucks and I’ve always wanted to drive for the Mittler Brothers.”
In July, Hoffman had his first opportunity to race for the Mittler Brothers at the then-O’Reilly Raceway Park in the Camping World Truck Series. “I was really pumped up because it was a really big opportunity for us.” Nick reflected “We had a solid day and the biggest thing I had to remember was not to get on the gas too hard, coming from a dirt mind-set. Guys like Steve Arpin and Justin Allgaier helped teach me what I needed to change. It was fun and it was a really thrilling experience, but our biggest goal was to just get laps, but I think tomorrow we should have a good truck.”
Hoffman is driving for the same team that several big names in NASCAR such as the late Kenny Irwin Jr., the late Tony Roper, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, and Justin Allgaier all cut their teeth in the Truck Series, but Hoffman is the latest driver to step in the truck. “It’s really big for my confidence and I’m hoping to do the same things they did and accomplish as much as they have.” said Hoffman. One of Nick’s biggest supporters has been Carl Edwards, who has helped out with his dirt modified efforts in the Southeast. “He’s a big supporter for us and has helped us out when he can.” said Nick. “I knew Carl when my dad was working for Mike and Carl had moved to North Carolina and he said he knew he had to live down there if he was going to make it in the racing business. So we hung out and stuff all the time and now he kind of helps us.”
Hoffman has set realistic goals for himself this weekend at Nashville SuperSpeedway. “I don’t know about the rest of the team, but my goal is to finish on the lead lap in the top 20 and to log some laps.” Future races for the young hot-shoe depend on how he does this week-end. “It all depends on how this race goes tomorrow.” said Hoffman. “If I can keep the thing in one piece, we’ll see what I get approved for after this.” Here’s to hoping the best for the latest Missouri to North Carolina transplant and hopefully one day he can follow in the foot-steps of his mentor, Carl Edwards. Perhaps this week-end at Nashville will be the start of something special for Hoffman.