LOS ANGELES, Calif. – An ignition box failure in the early laps of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Prairie Meadows 150 put Milka Duno several laps down and would ultimately affect her result - Duno finished the 150-lap race at Iowa Speedway in 19th.
Duno started last Saturday’s evening race in 22nd and took 20th in the first few laps but on lap seven she started to drop back and it became obvious that engine performance was down. Falling back to 23rd her Venturini Motorsports team determined that the issue was most likely a problem with the ignition box and brought her into the pits under the second caution of the race on lap 32.
The ignition box failure was confirmed and resolved - and with new tires, fuel and some adjustments to her No. 35 Cantv/Milka Way Chevrolet Duno went back out on track – several laps down – but now with a better, faster car.
Having now advanced again into the top-20 in 20th Duno was determined to overcome her “laps down” disadvantage and wanted to move up in position.
After her second and final pit stop for fuel and tires during the third and final caution of the race Duno renewed her charge and took 19th on lap 99.
Setting her sights then on the 18th position she knew it was a tall order as she was several laps down on the car that she would need to pass for position. Consistently turning faster laps than the car she was determined to overtake she did pass him once but would need to do so again in order to take the position.
Ultimately there just wasn’t enough time left in the race to accomplish this and Duno took the checkered flag in 19th and earned her thirteenth top-20 finish of the 2013 season.
“I really like this track and I want to do well every time I race here,” said Duno. “The track presents some interesting challenges and as a driver I like that. We didn’t have the best starting position and then the problem with the ignition box putting us down a few laps added to that. But you never give up - and we didn’t.”
"Milka did a great job and if we hadn’t had the ignition box problem she would have had a much better finish” said Kevin Caldwell, Crew Chief, No. 35 Venturini Motorsports Cantv/Milka Way Chevrolet. “She’s learning very quickly and gaining in confidence with each and every race.”
Duno moves to 7th in the ARCA Racing Series Driver Point Standings with three races remaining in the 2013 ARCA Series season. Next up on the schedule is Salem Speedway on September 14th.
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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.