Fresh off their first top-five ARCA Menards Series finish together in last Friday’s Henry Ford Health 200 at Michigan International Speedway, rookie Frankie Muniz and Rette Jones Racing trek to the Midwest looking for back-to-back top-five performances in Friday night’s Reese’s 200 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
The Michigan rebound was important for Muniz. Not only was his eighth top-10 finish of the season a nice rebound from the previous race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, where electrical gremlins robbed the Mooresville, N.C.-team of a likely top-10 finish – but Michigan also vaulted Muniz back to second in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings after 11 races.
“I have been craving a top-five finish over the last couple of months, I am glad we were finally able to get the goal accomplished last weekend at Michigan,” said Muniz.
“I want more though. I’m excited to go to Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park this weekend and contend for back-to-back top-five runs.”
Just past the halfway point of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season, Muniz has impressed. Outside of trouble at Elko (Minn.) Speedway where he was taken out by another competitor and the electrical bugs at Pocono – Muniz has been finishing well.
But as the Rette Jones Racing team dives into the heat of the summer stretch, Muniz is focused on honing his craft, while also eyeing the opportunity to reel in Jesse Love for the ARCA Menards Series championship title despite knowing most of the upcoming tracks on the schedule are venues that he’s never raced at.
“Nearly every race has been a challenge for one reason or another, but I believe we have approached the races well and executed them to the best of our ability,” added Muniz. “From superspeedways to intermediate tracks, short tracks and road courses – I’ve embraced it all with an open mind.
“But, if we want to have any shot at this championship, we have to step it up a little. Jesse (Love) though is so good right now and he’ll need to have a little bit of bad luck for us or anyone for that matter to have an impact. That can happen. We’ve seen that happen for both him and us.
“We’ll go to the track this weekend with the same mentality we’ve had for the first 11 races and see what happens when the checkered flag waves on Friday night.”
As for the tight confines of Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Muniz has been utilizing the assets made available to him to make sure he’s ready to compete for his ninth top-10 finish of the 2023 ARCA season.
“I feel like we will be pretty competitive this weekend,” continued Muniz. “It is another combination race between the ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East, so there will be some new players, but I think it’s going to be an exciting race and hopefully we can keep our No. 30 Rette Jones Racing Ford Mustang in the hunt.”
For the third time this season, Muniz and Rette Jones Racing will display the Ford colors for the 12th ARCA Menards Series race of the season.
“Ford has been an amazing partner and I’m glad to have them back on board on Friday night. It was important for me to have a good run for them in their backyard last weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
“Ford has been an instrumental player to my rookie ARCA Menards Series season and I continue to be appreciative of everything they do for our team.”
Former ARCA championship-winning crew chief and co-owner Mark Rette has been extremely impressed with Muniz’s performances in the first 11 races of the year and looks forward to seeing him strengthen his craft in his Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park debut on Friday night.
“Frankie has exceeded my expectations on short tracks,” offered Rette. “They are not as easy as everyone thinks to manhandle Just like Michigan last weekend, I think he will acclimate quickly and contend for another strong finish for our Rette Jones Racing team and Ford on Friday night.”
Entering Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Muniz sits second in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 82 markers behind championship leader Jesse Love with nine races remaining.
Rette Jones Racing stands a respectable fifth in the ARCA Menards Series championship owner standings.
Since 2023, Muniz has 11 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 eight top-10 finishes overall. He also maintains an average finishing position of 9.4 in his inaugural year of stock car competition.
The Reese’s 200 (200 laps | 137.2 miles) is the 12th of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule in the 71st consecutive ARCA season. Practice begins Friday, August 11 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying in a timed session will begin a short time later at 2:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 6:00 p.m. ET. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while also streaming on FloRacing. The Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (XM channel 391 | online channel 981) will handle the radio waves. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
Rette Jones Racing PR