Joliet, Ill. – Fuel strategy played a role in Milka Duno’s finish in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Ansell ActivArmr® 150 at Chicagoland Speedway and in the closing laps of the 100-lap race Duno was 12th - but ultimately finished 15th when she ran out of fuel on the last lap.
With all three of the race’s caution periods coming in the early laps of the race Duno’s pit stop under caution on lap 25 for fuel and tires was to be her last load of fuel for the remainder of the race – 75 laps. It was either that – or pit under green late in the race and lose valuable track position.
It was a competitive gamble – but a decision made for all the right reasons. Normally, 75-lap green-flag runs to the finish are not all that common in the ARCA Series and several teams, including Duno’s Venturini Motorsports team, believed that there would either be another caution period, or that with the third caution coming when it did a run to the finish without a fuel stop could be made – albeit with little or no fuel left to spare.
Several teams were faced with the same decision, hoping for another caution or that their fuel would hold out and unfortunately several cars ran out of fuel in the closing laps.
“It was a tough race on a tough track,” said Duno. “We came in during the caution for tires and fuel and adjustments were made to the car that were on the mark. We picked up speed and we were able to get up to 12th. If we would have come in for fuel under green we would definitely have lost positions so we took a calculated, competitive gamble and ultimately we were so very close – “last-lap” close actually!”
"Milka really did a very good job in a very competitive race, said Kevin Caldwell, Crew Chief, No. 35 Venturini Motorsports Cantv/Milka Way Toyota. “We’re looking forward to our next race on the road course at New Jersey Motorsports Park where Milka earned her first career ARCA Series top-10 finish last year.”
Duno’s 15th-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway is her ninth top-15 finish and seventh consecutive top-15 finish in the 11 races held so far this season.
Next up for Duno and her Venturini Motorsports team will be the Barbera's Autoland 150 presented by Driven Racing Oil at New Jersey Motorsports Park July 28.
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.