One of the most successful sponsorship names in NASCAR history will return to the sport for this weekend’s FireKeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.
Melling Performance, which evolved from the iconic Melling Racing, will be primary sponsor on Michael McDowell’s No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford Mustang.
Started by team patriarch Harry Melling in 1982, Melling Racing won the first “Winston Million” with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott in 1985, Elliott set the NASCAR speed record of 212.809 mph at Talladega in 1987 and won the 1988 Winston Cup championship. Elliott would claim 34 of his 44 Cup career wins while driving under the Melling Racing banner.
Melling’s son Mark took over Melling Racing in 1999 (after Harry Melling passed away from a heart attack on May 29 that year) and continued to run the team until it closed after the 2002 season. Mark Melling now owns Melling Performance and Melling Engine Parts – which manufactures performance engine parts – and is located in Jackson, Michigan — less than 20 miles away from MIS.
“We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to get involved in NASCAR again,” Mark Melling said in a media release. “Teaming up with Michael and Front Row Motorsports gives us the chance to stay close to our racing roots while promoting our performance engine parts brand.”
McDowell is looking forward to having Melling sponsorship on his car.
“It’s so cool to have Melling on board this weekend,” McDowell said. “They have a long and rich history in the Cup series, so I’m excited that they’re getting involved again.
“To have the name ‘Melling’ on our car so close to their home base really means a lot.”