TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 12, 2018) — Leilani Munter is feeling pretty good about her next ARCA race; that would be the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway coming April 27. And as well she should. The Rochester Minn. driver is coming off her career-best finish in the season-opener at Daytona where she steered the No. 20 Vegan Strong Toyota to an 8th-place finish after qualifying a career-best 5th.
Munter is one of four entries received from Venturini Motorsports for Talladega. She’ll join teammates Michael Self, Natalie Decker and another driver yet to be announced for ARCA’s 56th race at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
Like Daytona, her crew chief will be 10-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion Frank Kimmel.
“It’s such an honor to work with Frank,” said Munter. “He has always gone out of his way to help me. He’s setting up my cars. He’s so successful…he’s an ARCA legend. Learning from him is amazing. He’ll be my crew chief all year.”
“All year” for Munter means eight races, the most she’s ever had in ARCA competition.
“I’ve never had more than four ARCA races in any given year. Usually, it’s just been one or two, or none. Having this many is all new to me. I’m taking this commitment very seriously. I never know if I’ll get this opportunity again.”
So seriously in fact that Munter is having a simulator installed in her home this weekend so she can practice iRacing.
“I’ve never raced at Pocono or Michigan. And there’s no test at Michigan so I want to do all I can to try and get out in front of it.”
She has also backed off on her busy travel schedule.
“In years past, I was always an activist first and race driver second. This year, I’ve turned that around. I’m a race driver first and an activist second. That means I’ve declined some speaking opportunities to focus on racing more.”
Nonetheless, Munter is still very much on the move outside the circle of racing.
“I just got back from a family reunion in New Zealand. I leave for Florida this weekend…traveling to Cape Canaveral to the Kennedy Space Center for a speaking engagement. Leaving for California early next week, speaking at a Tesla factory Tuesday.”
Today, however, it was all about traveling to the Venturini Motorsports race shop in Concord, N.C., just a half-hour commute from home.“I’ve got enough races on my schedule this year that I’m having a second seat made. We have that stretch there where we’re running a lot of races in a row, so we have to be ready for that. We’re also experimenting with decals to decide which shows up better on film. I’m really going all out for these eight races. I really want to make the most of this opportunity. Venturini Motorsports is building great cars. I’ve got a lot of really great support.”
The General Tire 200 at Talladega will be the 56th ARCA race at Talladega since the inaugural event in 1969. Former ARCA winners at Talladega include Ramo Stott, Mark Martin, Davey Allison, Red Farmer, Grant Adcox, Mike Wallace, Frank Kimmel, Justin Allgaier, Ty Dillon, Gus Dean and Justin Haley.
Outside of teching cars the day before, it all happens in one day at Talladega with practice for the General Tire 200 Friday morning (April 27) from 8:30 to 10:20 a.m. General Tire Pole Qualifying (group format) follows at 2:30. The General Tire 200 is scheduled to get the green flag shortly after 5 Friday afternoon.
The General Tire 200 at Talladega is live on FS1. All on-track activities will be featured on live timing and scoring at arcaracing.com, plus live chat.