Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Duno ready to make history when she makes her Nationwide Series debut

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

It was announced recently that Milka Duno will be the first Hispanic female driver in to compete in NASCAR in the coming weeks. She signed on to race five to six races with RAB Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series later this year.

“It’s great news for me,” Duno said. “It’s a new challenge in my racing career. I’m very happy, as I’ve been working towards it to drive a stock car. I have been working very hard in ARCA to receive this opportunity in the Nationwide Series.”

Milka Duno Submitted Photo
Milka Duno Submitted Photo (Photo by Milka Duno’s Publicist)

She is slated to drive the No. 29 car that was previously driven by veteran driver Kenny Wallace and Scott Lagasse Jr.

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Lagasse Jr. drove the “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow” sponsored car in both Daytona races this season.

“It shouldn’t put more pressure on me, as it is a new car,” Duno explained. “There’s new competition – everything is new. I know that it is going to be a hard challenge and that it will put pressure on me. This is the biggest opportunity of my motorsports career.”

She has eight major wins in her career thus far, previously winning in the American Le Mans Series Prototype Class and the Grand American Rolex Series. She became the first woman in history to win the Rolex Grand Prix of Miami, a major international race in the United States.

She also recorded the best finish by a female driver when she finished second in the 24 Hours at Daytona. She was also the first Hispanic female driver to qualify and race at the Indianapolis 500 in 2007.

“I’ve been in many race cars; I think I could handle this new Nationwide car,” she said. “I am going to test this new car soon, and I’m working with RAB Racing to get used to this car. I am familiar with an ARCA car, so I’m somewhat familiar with stock cars. I have a great group of people at RAB Racing that will help me transition to the Nationwide Series in the coming weeks.”

When she steps into the car, she’ll be working with veteran crew chief Chris Rice. Last season, Rice helped lead RAB Racing’s No. 99 Toyota Camry to two poles, two top-5 finishes, and six top-10 finishes.

“Working with Chris, he’s going to help me get used to this car,” Duno acknowledged. “There’s so much that I have to learn from him. I have had a good relationship with my previous crew chiefs, and I understand them well. I have learned so much from the experiences that they’ve had. I’m very excited to work with Chris. He’s a very good crew chief.”

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In her career, she has had limited success in IndyCar and the ARCA Racing Series. She made 43 starts over 4 years with IndyCar and her best finish was 20th in 2007. She’s been competing in the ARCA Racing Series from 2010 through 2013 and has not started an ARCA race this season.

In her ARCA career, she has made 47 starts with three top-10 finishes and 18 laps led. She also had one pole that came at Talladega Superspeedway.

Her best finish was 8th at Salem Speedway last season. She also finished seventh in the championship points picture to end the 2013 season.

“My expectation is to learn the car better,” Duno said of her goals in the Nationwide car. “I would also like to do good when I’m out there. The ARCA car is similar to the Nationwide car that I will be in soon when I begin testing.”

Besides her limited Nationwide schedule, she will continue her role as a member of the Univision Deportes Network Formula One broadcast team, where she serves as a commentator for the live F1 pre-race shows and live race broadcasts for all of this year’s races.

In addition, she also serves as an elected member of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Women and Motor Sport Commission.

“I think right now, I can do my 5 to 6 races while continuing to do my F1 commentating,” she said. “I don’t foresee a problem, as I could do them before my races. This opportunity has been my dream as a race car driver.”

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso IIIhttps://thecapitalsportsreport.com
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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