Second in ARCA Points; Frankie Muniz Invades Talladega Superspeedway
TALLADEGA, Ala.: ARCA Menards Series rookie Frankie Muniz heads to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, site of Saturday morning’s General Tire 200 looking to keep his impressive start to 2023 intact.
After finishing an impressive 11th in the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February, Muniz tackled his hometown track of Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway with ease earning a strong sixth-place finish in the General Tire 150.
With two top-11 finishes in the books, Muniz, the former Malcolm in the Middle television actor invades the 2.66-mile superspeedway hoping to continue the momentum while in search of his first career top-five finish.
“I’ve been waiting for Talladega since the checkered flag flew at Phoenix,” said Muniz with a smile. “I’ve had an absolute blast at both Daytona and Phoenix. Strong race cars from my Rette Jones Racing team, along with confidence in myself have really put us on the map heading to Talladega.”
Unlike Daytona, Muniz has never turned a professional lap at Talladega Superspeedway, but the Phoenix, Ariz. native has spent time in the similar to prepare him for the 76 laps that await him on April 22.
“I feel pretty confident about racing at Talladega on Saturday,” offered Muniz. “Even though I haven’t been able to turn a lap on the track – I feel like the time I have spent preparing from the simulator to watching previous races and just reaching out to some of my fellow drivers about Talladega will all be a big help.”
As far as his approach to the third ARCA Menards Series race of the season, Muniz plans to stick to a similar path as he did in Daytona where he minded his manners and waited for the opportunity to muscle to the front.
“We had a good gameplan and it worked out for the most part,” recalled Muniz. “We had a fast race car and I felt like if we had another lap we could have gotten ourselves a top-10 finish, But, 11th isn’t too bad either in your ARCA debut.
“I learned a lot about the draft and earning the trust of my competitors and vice-versa. I feel very confident drafting with some of the veterans like Gus (Dean), Greg (Van Alst) and others and I feel like when that green flag drops on Saturday, those two guys, in particular, will have fast cars and I will do everything I can to stay with them.
“Hopefully, we can avoid any trouble on the track and deliver another strong finish that will carry us to Kansas Speedway in May.”
Like Daytona, HairClub will return at Talladega and serve as the primary partner on the team’s No. 30 Ford Mustang.
Founded in 1976, HairClub is North America’s number-one provider of hair regrowth, replacement, and restoration solutions.
For over 40 years, HairClub has helped 600,000+ people regrow, replace, or restore hair that they love.
HairClub has over 120 locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Aderans Co. Ltd., the world’s leading provider of total hair loss solutions.
“It’s great to be representing the HairClub brand again,” said Muniz. “They were very instrumental in helping make my ARCA Menards Series debut successful both on and off the track. I am very blessed and thankful to have the opportunity to work with them again and try to put them in Victory Lane!”
For former ARCA championship-winning crew chief and co-owner Mark Rette, he was extremely impressed with Muniz’s performance in the first two races and looks forward to seeing his attentiveness continue at Talladega.
“I feel really good about Frankie going to Talladega this weekend,” said Rette. “He has been working hard to prepare himself for more superspeedway this weekend. He has asked a lot of questions and been very focused on making sure the little mistakes he made at Daytona – don’t happen again on Saturday.
“I feel like Frankie knows whom he can trust on the track and if the opportunity arises, we will try and work with them as much as possible. At the end of the day, we just want to have a successful race with a satisfying finish and move on to Kansas Speedway.”
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 at Talladega.
Entering Talladega, Muniz sits second in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 10 markers in the arrears to championship leader Greg Van Alst with 18 races remaining.
Rette Jones Racing stands a respectable fourth in the ARCA Menards Series championship owner standings.
Since 2023, Muniz has two ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit with a career-best finish of sixth at Phoenix Raceway in March 2023.
The General Tire 200 (76 laps | 202 miles) is the third of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule in the 71st consecutive ARCA season. Practice begins Fri., April 21 with a one-hour group session from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The field will be set by 2022 ARCA car owner standings. The race is set for the following morning on Sat., Apr. 22 to take the green flag shortly after 11:30 a.m. CT (12:30 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.