NEWTON, Iowa: On the heels of matching his career-best finish of sixth last weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Frankie Muniz and his Rette Jones Racing team trek to Iowa Speedway determined to earn their first top-five finish in ARCA Menards Series competition in Saturday night’s Calypso 150.
Rebounding from a tough finish last month at Elko (Minn.) Speedway, Muniz showcased his road course skills and successfully conquered the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course not only to find closure from a serious accident in 2009 but putting his ARCA Rookie season back on track aboard the No. 30 Ford Mustang.
“The racing is so fun in this series, honestly, it’s so tight,” recalled Muniz of his Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course finish. “I learned so much. It’s so different than when I used to race. I had a blast.
“I learned a lot for Watkins Glen. I’m having a blast and I love it; I really do.”
With road racing on the shelf for the next five weeks, Muniz and the Mooresville, N.C.-based Rette Jones Racing will have to concentrate back on the ovals with Muniz set to focus on his Iowa Speedway debut in the heart of the Midwest on Saturday night.
“I am very optimistic about Saturday night,” offered Muniz. “I feel very confident in my Rette Jones Racing team bringing me a fast race car and being able to adapt to another new track. As the season progresses, it’s about having fun but also doing everything we possibly can to keep ourselves within reach of the championship.
“We haven’t reached the halfway point yet, but we are focused on going to each race and accumulating as many points as we possibly can. At the end of the day, we just need to do our job and hope we get closer and close to retaking the points lead at some point before the end of the season.”
Muniz and his Rette Jones Racing team haven’t made it a secret that the team is actively seeking partners to keep the former television superstar on the race track and an impressive rookie ARCA Menards Series season alive.
At one point, the team sat in Mid-Ohio wondering if they would be heading to Iowa Speedway this weekend.
Things worked out and the team is ready for the ninth race of the season, but Muniz insisted that the bumps in the road aren’t over yet.
“Believe me we are doing everything we can to keep ourselves in this championship fight,” added Muniz. “I am incredibly thankful that things worked out to allow us to race at Iowa this weekend and we have a partnership in place for Pocono Raceway next week, but we have several races left this season that we don’t have a partner.
“We are hoping that strong performances and continued exposure for our Rette Jones Racing team will keep the phone ringing and our No. 30 Ford Mustang on the race track.”
Hunting for his seventh top-10 finish on Saturday, Muniz is incredibly happy with the on-track performance of his Rette Jones Racing team approaching the halfway point of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season.
“Everyone has worked very hard to make sure I come to the track with the fastest car possible,” Muniz added. “I’ve worked hard in the simulator and utilizing other resourceful tools to me to make sure I am doing what I can to give 100 percent behind the wheel.
“I hope as we inch closer to the second half of the season, we continue to pick up the pace with our solid consistency and turn our top-10s into top-fives and hopefully a win or two by October.”
Former ARCA championship-winning crew chief and co-owner Mark Rette has been extremely impressed with Muniz’s performances in the first eight races of the year and looks forward to seeing him strengthen his craft in his Iowa Speedway debut on Saturday night.
“I honestly feel like Frankie will really adapt well to Iowa Speedway,” offered Rette. “It’s a short track that drives like an intermediate track. I look for Frankie to utilize practice to get up to speed and then deliver a strong qualifying run that will allow us to start near the front where we can maintain our track position and have a successful race.”
Entering Iowa, Muniz sits second in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 43 markers behind championship leader Jesse Love with 12 races remaining.
Rette Jones Racing stands a respectable fourth in the ARCA Menards Series championship owner standings.
Since 2023, Muniz has eight ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit with a career-best finish of sixth at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in July 2023, Berlin (Mich.) Raceway in June 2023, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May 2023 and Phoenix Raceway in March 2023 and six top-10s overall. He also maintains an average finishing position of 8.5 in his inaugural year of stock car competition.
The Calypso 150 (150 laps | 132 miles) is the ninth of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule in the 71st consecutive ARCA season. Practice begins Saturday, July 15 from 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying in a timed session will begin a short time later at 5:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 7:00 p.m. CT (8:00 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 day’s festivities.