Talladega, AL (May 3 2013) – Milka Duno, in the No. 35 Cantv/Milka Way Toyota, became the first female ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver since 1988 to win the pole at Talladega Superspeedway. Duno had the second-fastest time in the Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell but when the time of Venturini Motorsports teammate John Wes Townley was disallowed following post-qualifying inspection, Duno was announced as the pole winner.
“This is fantastic,” Duno said following her award. “We have been trying, trying, trying for the pole ever since Daytona. All day, I made my crew chief (Kevin Caldwell) crazy, saying ‘what do we need to do?’”
The times of four cars were disallowed. Each of those drivers will start at the rear of the field in Friday’s International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250. The race will begin at 4 p.m. (Central Standard Time) and will be broadcast live on SPEED.
Duno is the fourth female to win an ARCA pole award, including Moise, Shawna Robinson and Erin Crocker. Moise is the only other female pole winner at Talladega, claiming two poles at the 2.66-mile superspeedway in 1988.
The rest of the top five include Mason Mingus, Grant Enfinger, Justin Boston and Caleb Armstrong.
Mingus, the polesitter at Mobile, will enter the race second in the championship points race; Enfinger won the race at Mobile earlier this year while Boston and Armstrong are the other Venturini Motorsports cars.
After inspection, ARCA racing officials said the qualifying efforts of Bobby Gerhart, Korbin Forrestor, Mark Thompson and Townley were being disallowed following the post-qualifying technical inspection.
Duno, 41, qualified second behind Townley at the season-opening Daytona International Speedway race and led the first 11 laps before her car had transmission problems. Townley won the race.
Duno had her career-best ARCA finish at Salem Speedway last weekend when she finished eighth.
“We are very competitive,” Duno said. “This is great. Now, I must go to my crew chief and talk about being better. I have to run the perfect race.”
The Caracas, Venezuela driver is one of the most successful female sports car racers in history. She is a qualified naval engineer and has four master’s degrees. She has participated in the 24 Hours of LeMans, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the Indianapolis 500. She competed in the American LeMans Series championship in the early 2000s before moving to the Rolex Sports Car Series in 2004.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is making its 51st start at Talladega. The first ARCA race at Talladega came in 1969.
No female driver has won in the ARCA Racing Series in its 61 year history.
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.
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