Frankie Muniz and Rette Jones Racing Down to Get Dirty Again in DuQuoin
DUQUOIN, Ill: Frankie Muniz and his Rette Jones Racing are as focused as ever, with just five races remaining in his ARCA Menards Series rookie year.
Despite a frustrating 12th-place finish at The Milwaukee Mile last Sunday, Muniz and his Mark Rette-led team trek to the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds, site of Sunday night’s Southern Illinois 100, hungry for another top-five finish.
Sunday’s final dirt track race of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series also offers an opportunity for Muniz, the former television actor turned professional race car driver, to showcase what he learned in mid-August at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, where Muniz wheeled his No. 30 Ford Performance Ford Fusion to a seventh-place effort after starting 11th.
“I’m feeling much better about DuQuoin this weekend,” said Muniz with a smile. “I learned a lot at Springfield, honestly. I wasn’t perfect to start the race – but throughout the race, Mark (Rette crew chief) made reasonable adjustments, my comfort level improved, and we made steady progress to finish seventh.
“I firmly believe I can go to DuQuoin, apply what I learned, and contend for a top-five finish on Sunday night.”
Even though Muniz has had to battle some race gremlins since finishing fifth at Michigan International Speedway in August, the Phoenix, Ariz. native is confident his Rette Jones Racing team can emerge from the recent hiccups and produce some strong results over the final month of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season.
“Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Watkins Glen and even last weekend at The Milwaukee Mile presented its challenges. However, I am proud of our Rette Jones Racing team for overcoming those obstacles and trying to keep our 2023 season on track.
“Undoubtedly, we can finish in the top five at DuQuoin, Kansas, Bristol, Salem and Toledo. We are focused on controlling what we can control and hope the rest will play into our hands.
“I would be stoked if we can end the year with a win and believe we are going to do everything in our power to achieve that goal, but our focus is to go out there and do our jobs and end the season on a high note.”
For the sixth time this season, Muniz and Rette Jones Racing will display the Ford colors for the 16th ARCA Menards Series race of the season.
“Ford has been an amazing partner, especially over the past month and I’m glad to have them back on board on the dirt Sunday night,” added Muniz. “You need a Built Ford Proud vehicle to be able to slaw the dirt and I know that our No. 30 Ford Performance Ford Fusion is capable of getting the job done.
“Ford has been an instrumental player to my rookie ARCA Menards Series season and I continue to appreciate everything they do for our team.”
Former ARCA championship-winning crew chief and co-owner Mark Rette has been highly impressed with Muniz’s performances in the first 15 races of the year. He looks forward to seeing him strengthen his craft in his DuQuoin State Fairgrounds debut on Sunday night.
“The last few races have been tough for us because we have had speed but not the results we were looking for,” offered Rette. “That has made us more determined than ever to go to DuQuoin this weekend and leave nothing on the table but our best.
“Frankie impressed me immensely on the dirt at Springfield. It took him a bit to find his groove, but when he did, we were producing lap times to run inside the top five. We hope to pick up right where we left off, from taking the checkered flag at Springfield to the green flag for practice at DuQuoin on Saturday afternoon. It should be a good night for us.”
Entering DuQuoin, Muniz sits third in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 13 points behind second-place runner Andrés Pérez de Lara. He sits 133 markers behind championship leader Jesse Love with five races remaining.
Rette Jones Racing stands a respectable sixth in the ARCA Menards Series championship owner standings.
Since 2023, Muniz has 15 ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit, with a career-best finish of fifth at Michigan International Speedway in August 2023. In all, Muniz has delivered one top-five and nine top-10 finishes overall. He also maintains an average finishing position of 9.9 in his inaugural year of stock car competition.
The Southern Illinois 100 (100 laps | 100 miles) is the 16th of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule in the 71st consecutive ARCA season Practice begins Sunday, September 3 from 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying in a timed session will begin a short time later at 7:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 9:00 p.m. ET. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 2 (FS2), while also streaming on FloRacing. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are Eastern (ET).