Winchester, Ind. – Milka Duno earned her second top-10 finish of the 2013 season in her No. 35 Cantv/Milka Way Toyota by finishing 10th in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Herr's Chase the Taste 200 at Winchester Speedway.
Duno delivered her first top-10 of the season by finishing 8th at Salem Speedway in April. Her first ARCA Series career top-10 finish was last year on the road course at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
As with many tracks on the 2013 ARCA Series schedule it was Duno’s first time on the half-mile oval at Winchester - competing with drivers that have raced at these tracks multiple times in their racing careers – and her learning curve is steep.
In the first practice session leading up to her first race at Winchester Duno was 16th. She improved to 14th quickest in the second and final practice session. As the qualifying session was rained out – she was placed 9th on the grid (due to car owner points) for the start of the 100-mile, 200-lap race.
While doing her best to stay in the top-10 Duno had slipped back as far as 12th - but during her first pit stop, under the second caution of the race, her Venturini Motorsports crew gave her new right-side tires and made adjustments to the car. When she got back out on the track she was very, very quick.
Having advanced to 7th Duno set her sights on 6th and while passing to take the position she was wrecked by the car she was passing. The contact sent her into the pits three times, all under the third caution of the race, for multiple attempts to repair the damage. But unfortunately, the extent of the repairs needed could not be made during the race and she was back out on the track to try and finish the race with a damaged car.
Not giving up hope Duno continued to stay in the top-10 and was at times in 7th, 8th and 9th, but ultimately the effects of the wreck took their toll and with a car that she struggled with for the remainder of the race she ended her day in 10th.
“We’ve been working very hard to score our second top-10 this season and we got it my first time here,” said Duno. “I really have to thank Venturini Motorsports. They did their magic during our first pit stop and the car was just awesome after that. After getting a bunch of top-fifteen finishes in a row and knowing that some of them could have been top-10’s – now here we got a top-10 which could very well have been a top-5 if we hadn’t been wrecked. After that first pit stop the car was very fast and we were on the move!
"Milka has adapted very well to the high banked short tracks,” said Billy Venturini, Director of Competition for Venturini Motorsports. “It was good to see her get her second top-10 finish of the season. She continues to chip away at the points."
With her top-10 finish at Winchester Duno continues to solidify her current ranking of 7th in the Driver Point Standings and is now only 20 points shy of advancing to 6th.
Next on the schedule for Duno and her Venturini Motorsports team will be the Ansell ActivArmr® 150 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, July 21st.
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. She is currently making a transition from IndyCar racing to stock car racing and for 2013 is competing for her first full season in the 2013 ARCA Racing Series Championship with Venturini Motorsports. Her next challenge is to become the first Latina in history to compete in NASCAR.
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. 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 Johanna Long.
In 2012, VMS and the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano, among others.
After nearly two decades away from NASCAR, 2013 marks VMS’s modern day return to the series with John Wes Townley driving the team’s familiar No.25 in selective NASCAR Nationwide Series events.