Venturini Motorsports Due For Daytona Breakthrough Win
Topics: Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200
Concord, NC (02-07-11) Venturini Motorsports is a strong believer their longevity and experience in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards Series will increase their odds for a breakthrough win in Saturday's 48th annual Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
The formidable race team has been a regular fixture at the World Center of Racing each February for nearly 30 years. This year’s effort includes five teams.
“The five cars – the key to that is preparation,” Billy Venturini said. “We seem to be prepared very well, and we were prepared last year and performed well. We know where our short-comings were last year and we have addressed them. We expect everything to go without a hitch this year.”
To kick off the season, Steve Arpin in the No. 25 Mike’s Hard Lemonade leads the team’s effort, who was part of the 2010 race-winning team at Venturini Motorsports. Arpin is a third-year driver in the series.
Georgia native Mark Thompson will make his return in the No. 66 Phoenix Air Toyota Chevrolet for his second straight Daytona with the team. A fixture in the ARCA Racing Series since 1991, the two-time ARCA Racing Series winner is looking to improve his runner-up position from last year’s event.
To race at Daytona a driver needs both talent and luck. Venturini Motorsports up-and-comer Kyle Fowler will have to show his talent behind the wheel of the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet while making his Daytona debut. The 18-year old will be competing as an ARCA Racing Series Rookie of the Year candidate with past experience in the NASCAR K&N Series and limited ARCA Racing Series events throughout the 2010 season.
In addition to Fowler, Brazilian driver Miguel Paludo will be making his Daytona debut under Venturini Motorsports banner driving the No.28 StemcoDuroline Toyota. Paludo, a GT3 Champion will compete against 51 other entries. Paludo also will be joining Red Horse Racing for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Hal Martin, of Louisiana, will pilot the No.55 NOLA Motorsports Park Toyota. Nicknamed “the Ragin' Cajun” in motorsports, the 25-year old last raced in the ARCA Racing Series at Talladega Superspeedway in April, finishing 10th. He has made six career starts, three starts each in 2009 and 2010.
The 2011 edition of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 marks the second consecutive year Venturini Motorsports has fielded five teams. In 2010, Venturini Motorsports made history as the first team ever to field a five-car effort in a single race for the ARCA Racing Series.
Team co-owner and competition director, Billy Venturini finished third in the 2003 edition of the 200-mile event and backed that up with a similar impressive statistic in the 2004 edition of the race. In 2009, as the team grew to a premier NASCAR Driver Development Program as Joey Logano finished second. Venturini Motorsports most current and most revered runner-up finish at Daytona came last year with veteran Mark Thompson. The race saw John Wes Townley push Thompson across the finish line to score two podium finishes for the Venturini’s high-profile racing organization.
A runner-up finish in the 1987 season opener lead to the first championship for Bill Venturini. Despite winning two series championships, Venturini Motorsports still is looking for its first career Daytona victory.
“We have finished second in everything they have in Daytona Beach,” said Billy Venturini. “We have not won hardly anything, but we have finished second. If they had a potato sack race, we would finish second in the thing. Every year we have run well, and over the last few years we have gained the reputation for the best superspeedway program. It is time, which this year we capitalize and win.”
Fifty-eight drivers turned laps during the Jan. 11 – 13 ARCA Racing Series Open Test in preparation for Saturday’s race at Daytona. Venturini Motorsports posted three of the quickest speeds during the session with Martin, Fowler and Arpin finishing near the top of the charts.
Saturday's Lucas Oil Mist 200 80-lap 200-mile race gets the green flag at 4:30 p.m. EST. Live coverage of all the action will be provided by SPEED-TV and WNDB 1150 AM in Daytona Beach. Additional race coverage including live timing and scoring and radio broadcast through the ARCA Racing Network at arcaracing.com.
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