Los Angeles, Calif. (October 6, 2014) – When Milka Duno qualified for and competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, October 4 she became the first Hispanic female driver in history to compete in a NASCAR national series race in the United States. Unfortunately, she was one of five drivers in the race to spin and hit the wall at Turn 2 – which brought a quick end to her day.
The first of the two scheduled practice sessions on Friday was cancelled due to inclement weather, so Duno and her RAB Racing crew had much to accomplish in the afternoon session – and that they did. Completing 54 total laps over multiple runs, Duno and her No.29 Toyota Camry were picking up speed with each run.
In the qualifying session leading up to the 200-lap race on Kansas Speedway’s 1.5-mile tri-oval Duno’s best lap of the session came quickly on lap 4 and she qualified 34th.
“I was very excited to have qualified for my first NASCAR Nationwide Series race and it warmed my heart to receive so many congratulatory calls and messages - not only from the Latin and Hispanic community – but from friends, fans and supporters all around the world,” said Duno.
Starting her first NASCAR race 34th on the grid Duno quickly advanced five positions to 29th on the first lap. But on lap 2 she spun and backed heavily into the wall at Turn 2. It was immediately apparent that the damage would bring her first race to a very early and disappointing end.
Duno was not the only driver to spin at Turn 2 - as the race progressed four additional drivers would spin and hit the wall at Turn 2 – which also contributed to the 10 caution periods throughout the race.
“The start was really good for us and I started to feel that we were about to have a good race when the car just went away from me and I hit the wall hard,” said Duno. ”It was disappointing certainly to be out of this race early as I have earned a very good record of finishing races in my career and especially in the 2013 ARCA Racing Series season – finishing 19 of the 21 races and ending the season 3rd in most laps completed. As a team we leave Kansas having had a very productive practice session, a successful qualifying effort and a good car for the start of the race. RAB Racing helped me to make it into my first NASCAR race and some important Hispanic sports history as well and I can’t thank them enough for that!”
About Milka Duno
Duno has eight major race wins in the highest classes (Prototype) in the American Le Mans Series and the Grand American Rolex Series and the highest finish ever by a female driver (2nd place) in the 24 Hours at Daytona. When she won the Rolex Series Grand Prix of Miami she became the first woman in history to win a major international race in the USA. Duno was also the first Hispanic female driver, in the now 103-year history of the race, to qualify for and compete in the world famous Indianapolis 500.
In making her transition to stock car racing and her ultimate entry into NASCAR Duno has been competing in the ARCA Racing Series (ARCA) for the past three seasons. In her first full ARCA season in 2013 Duno finished the season 7th in the driver point standings and became the 2nd highest finishing female driver in ARCA’s history. She earned the pole at Talladega and led race laps at both Talladega and Daytona. Duno ended her 2013 ARCA season 3rd in most laps completed and 3rd in hard charger points.
Off the track Duno is a member of the Univision Deportes Network Formula One broadcast team as a commentator for their live F1 pre-race shows and live race broadcasts of all of the 2014 F1 races.
Duno also serves as a newly elected member of the 2014 Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Women & Motor Sport Commission. The FIA’s most prominent role is in the licensing and arbitration of the Formula One and World Rally Championship series. The International Olympic Committee provisionally recognized the federation in 2011, and granted full recognition in 2013.
As certified Naval Engineer with four master’s degrees – earning the last three simultaneously – Duno is a firm believer in the value of education and is working through her “Milka Way” program to inspire youth to “Aim for the Stars” and achieve academic excellence. Duno has taken this message to children, students, parents and teachers at all school levels all across the United States and around the world – including Venezuela, Malaysia, Canada, Japan, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. For more information on Milka Way, visit www.milkaway.com.
Milka’s official website is available at www.milkaduno.com
Fans cans also logon to her official Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/TheOfficialMilkaDunoFanPage.
Duno can also be followed on Twitter @MilkaDuno
About RAB Racing
Robert Benton and Brack Maggard formed the partnership that culminated into what is now known as RAB Racing with Brack Maggard. Since its inception, RAB Racing has laid a foundation to become one of the top teams in the motorsports industry. Originally founded in August of 2005, RAB Racing has grown from a team of two part-time crew members in a 2000 sq. foot space into a highly competitive team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with over 25 employees. Operating out of a state-of-the art 40,000 sq. foot facility in the heart of racing country, RAB Racing is a team of passionate and driven individuals all striving to make their mark in one of America’s most competitive sports. Stay up-to-date with the latest happenings by liking them on Facebook (RAB Racing) and by following them on Twitter (@RAB_Racing).