Milka Duno was second quickest in practice, qualified second and took the lead on lap 1 in Friday night’s 2013 season-opening of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona Presented by MAVTV American Real at Daytona International Speedway.
This was Duno’s first start with Venturini Motorsports in the team’s No. 35 CanTV/Milka Way Toyota and with stellar results in the practice and qualifying sessions leading up to the 80 lap/200 mile race Duno and her crew were looking forward to their start in the front row.
Duno jumped into the lead before the first lap had been completed and went on to lead the first 11 laps of the 80 lap race on the famous 2.5 mile tri oval.
A caution on lap 11 brought Duno and others in the lead pack into the pits but traffic issues leaving the pits lost Duno her lead.
On the restart after the second caution a transmission issue brought her back into the pits and ultimately behind the wall for very quick repairs by the talented Venturini Motorsports crew.
By the time that she got back on the track the No. 35 had fallen back to 30th but she was able to pick up another two positions and ultimately finished the race in 28th.
“Venturini brought me a car that was quick the very first minute we hit the track,” said Duno. “It was fantastic to generate the times we did in practice and qualifying and I was very excited to start the race in the front row. As soon as that green flag dropped I was ready to go and it was a great feeling to be leading the race at Daytona. The transmission issue was unfortunate but we went back out and fought on. Big thanks to my new team and crew – they did an awesome job!”
“Milka did a fantastic job qualifying up front,” said Billy Venturini, Director of Competition for Venturini Motorsports. “She did a flawless job at the start of the race. Unfortunately, we experienced a little transmission problem. But I believe we have immediately showcased Milka’s talent and the strength of the Venturini Motorsports program.”
About Milka Duno
Duno has eight major race wins in the highest classes (Prototype) in the American Le Mans Series and Rolex Series and the highest finish ever by a female driver (2nd Place) in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the 48-year history of the race. Off the track, Duno is a certified Naval Engineer who holds four master’s degrees, earning the last three simultaneously.
Duno is also working through her “Milka Way” program to inspire youth to “Aim for the Stars” and achieve academic excellence. For more information on Milka Way, visit www.milkaway.com.
Fans cans also logon to her official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheOfficialMilkaDunoFanPage.
Duno can also be followed on Twitter at @MilkaDuno
About Venturini Motorsports
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30 years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. With multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Kevin Swindell, Miguel Paludo, John Wes Townley, Josh Richards, and Ryan Reed. In 2012, VMS was inducted into the National Italian Sports Hall of Fame, and 2013 will highlight the team’s debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.