ARCA Points Leader Frankie Muniz Set to Tackle Kansas Speedway with Rette Jones Racing
KANSAS CITY, Kan: Three premier ARCA Menards Series races are in the books and rookie Frankie Muniz is racing more like a veteran.
His realistic approach to racing at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway and most recently Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway has paid dividends for the Rette Jones Racing driver as the team treks to the Kansas Speedway site of Saturday afternoon’s Dawn 150 with Muniz in control of the championship point standings.
And with the first intermediate track of his career on deck from the 1.5-mile speedway, Muniz is set to utilize the same approach that has propelled him into the points lead, while aiming for his first career top-five finish in the 100-lap race on Saturday, May 6.
“I am incredibly blessed,” said Muniz, who finished ninth in the series’ most recent race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. “A lot of the credit goes to my Rette Jones Racing team for bringing me fast Ford Mustangs and to the confidence that my crew chief and co-owner Mark (Rette) has instilled in me going out there and getting the job done.”
With 17 races left in the season, Muniz realizes that not every weekend is going to be perfect, but the information and experience he inherits will help for the bigger picture which he hopes will pay off in competing for the ARCA championship title.
Kansas Superspeedway, nestled in the heart of Kansas City, Kan. is extremely important and it marks the only track on the 2023 schedule where teams will compete twice during the aggressive 20-race schedule.
“I’m looking forward to Kansas, although I am not really sure what to expect,” offered Muniz. “I’ve never raced anything close to an intermediate track before, but I am hoping some of the fundamentals that I learned on a superspeedway such as side-drafting will be something that I can apply throughout the weekend.
“Our goal is simple. We want to make gains during the open test on Friday and then apply what we learned on Friday to practice and qualifying on Saturday and then hope we can leave Kansas with another solid finish and the points lead intact heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway at the end of the month.”
To help adjust to intermediate racing, Muniz recently spent time in the Ford Simulator in Concord, N.C. where the Scottsdale, Ariz. native turned laps for several hours around the 1.5-mile oval.
“The simulator was beneficial as it provides me with a baseline for what to expect on Friday and Saturday,” explained Muniz. “It’s as close to getting behind the wheel of our No. 30 Built Ford Proud Ford Mustang that I will get before this weekend, so I’m thankful for that time to learn the track, turn laps and gather a lot of information.”
For the first time this season, Muniz and Rette Jones Racing will display the Built Ford Proud colors for the fourth ARCA Menards Series race of the season.
“Our No. 30 Built Ford Proud Ford Mustang is a good-looking race car,” explained Muniz. “I continue to be thankful for everything that Ford is doing to help make my rookie year as seamless as possible. I recently spent some time in Detroit at the Ford headquarters and I was happily overwhelmed with the great work by so many individuals on so many fronts.
“I am proud to carry the Built Ford Proud colors and honored to continue to represent the Ford brand in my inaugural ARCA Menards Series season.”
For former ARCA championship-winning crew chief and co-owner Mark Rette, he was extremely impressed with Muniz’s performance in the first three races and looks forward to seeing his attentiveness continue at Kansas.
“Kansas will be another learning curve for Frankie, but it’s a curve that I feel he can conquer pretty quick,” said Rette. “He has been putting in the work to prepare himself for the race this weekend – nothing different than he has done all year long.
“It’s a great achievement for Frankie to be leading in the ARCA Racing Series championship point standings as a Rette Jones Racing driver, but it is very early in the season. Still, Frankie is incredibly focused and he knows that if he just focuses on his craft behind the wheel, the points will follow.
“At the end of the day, we just want to have another successful race with a satisfying finish and move on to Charlotte Motor Speedway at the end of the month.”
For the 2023 ARCA season, Rette Jones Racing will continue its longtime partnership with Ford Performance but has upgraded its fleet to include the Ford Mustang continuing this weekend in Kansas.
Entering Kansas, Muniz sits first in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 11 markers ahead of second-place competitor Jesse Love with 17 races remaining.
Rette Jones Racing stands a respectable third in the ARCA Menards Series championship owner standings.
Since 2023, Muniz has three ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit with a career-best finish of sixth at Phoenix Raceway in March 2023 and two top-10s overall. He also maintains an average finishing position of 8.7 in his inaugural year of stock car competition.
The Dawn 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the fourth of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule in the 71st consecutive ARCA season. Practice begins Saturday, May 6 from 9:25 a.m. – 9:55 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying in a timed session will begin a short time later at 10:10 a.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 1:00 p.m. CT (2:00 p.m. ET). The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (XM channel 391 | online channel 981) handling the radio waves. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.