After enduring a choppy six-week stretch of ARCA Menards Series competition, Frankie Muniz and his Rette Jones Racing return to Kansas Speedway for Friday night’s Sioux Chief Fast Track 150, looking to right the ship with just four races remaining in his inaugural rookie season.
Muniz appeared headed towards his 10th top-10 of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season this past Sunday night at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds, but a divebomb move by another competitor didn’t pan out and instead wiped out three cars in the process and left Muniz and the Rette Jones Racing team with a frustrating 12th-place result.
Hoping to return to the top-10 for the first time since finishing seventh three races ago at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Muniz, for the first time in his ARCA Menards Series career, will return to a track he has competed on before.
Earlier this season, in his intermediate ARCA debut at Kansas, Muniz qualified his No. 30 Rette Jones Racing Ford Mustang sixth and earned his then-third top-10 finish of the season with an eighth-place result.
Inhaling 16 ARCA Menards Series races so far this season, Muniz, the former Malcom in the Middle television icon, has certainly padded his racing resume and looks to utilize some of that experience on the intermediate tracks this season and apply it towards earning his second career top-five finish in Friday night’s 100-lap race.
“I am certainly ready to get this monkey off our back,” said Muniz. “It’s been a little bit of a rough four or five weeks. Our finishes haven’t been terrible, but we have certainly had things happen that have taken us out of the hunt for a stronger finish and the opportunity to gain some crucial points.
“With all that being said, I am excited to return to Kansas Speedway this weekend and put our Rette Jones Racing team back in the top-10. I like Kansas. It’s a fast track with plenty of room to race.”
Muniz explained how the fundamentals of learning how to race on a mile-and-a-half track and larger this season should pay dividends in the final speedway race of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season.
“I have learned so much about the draft and aerodynamically how to race these ARCA cars since Kansas in May,” explained Muniz. “I have learned how to utilize the draft to my advantage and how the air works when trying to pass another competitor, as well as how to wrestle our No. 30 Rette Jones Racing Ford Mustang when it comes to being aero loose or aero tight.
“I think all of the factors will come into play again on Friday night, so it’s just making sure I execute on what I learn and use a patient approach to ensure we can capitalize on any opportunity during the second half of the race.”
For the seventh time this season, Muniz and Rette Jones Racing will display the Ford colors for the 17th ARCA Menards Series race of the season.
“It’s great to have Ford back on board as a partner this weekend at Kansas Speedway,” sounded Muniz. “Our race in the spring was the debut of our on-track partnership, and we had a competitive run with an eighth-place result.
“This week, I’m looking for more than another top-10. I’m looking to put our No. 30 Ford | Rette Jones Racing Ford Mustang inside the top-10 and contend for our second top-five finish since Michigan International Speedway last month. It’s a competitive field for Friday night’s race, but I believe Mark (Rette) and the rest of the Rette Jones Racing team will have me tuned up and ready for battle.”
Former ARCA championship-winning crew chief and co-owner Mark Rette has been highly impressed with Muniz’s performances in the first 16 races of the year. He looks forward to seeing him strengthen his craft in his Kansas Speedway return on September 8.
“The last five or six races for us have been tough because we certainly have had the speed but lacked the results we know we were capable of. “Frankie has stepped up to the plate and continued to give more than 100 percent behind the wheel – but we’ve just had racing circumstances that have hindered us a little.
“We all have been looking forward to returning to Kanas knowing how fast and comfortable Frankie was in the spring, and we feel like he will be even faster when on-track activity gets underway on Friday.
“It should be a good night for us.”
Entering Kansas, Muniz sits third in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 21 points behind second-place runner Andrés Pérez de Lara. He sits 149 markers behind championship leader Jesse Love with four races remaining.
Rette Jones Racing stands a respectable sixth in the ARCA Menards Series championship owner standings.
Since 2023, Muniz has 16 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. He also maintains an average finishing position of 10.7 in his inaugural year of stock car competition.
The Sioux Chief Fast Track 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the 17th of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule in the 71st consecutive ARCA season Practice begins Friday, September 8 from 12:40 p.m. – 1:25 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying in a timed session will begin a short time later at 1:40 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 5:00 p.m. CT (6:00 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.
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