Belmont and Karth to Join Mullins and Bruce at Daytona Test.
FREDRICKSBURG, Va. - Mullins Racing will be bringing two cars the annual ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards open test at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 12-13, with four drivers scheduled to share driving duties of the two cars.
Willie Mullins, team owner of Mullins Racing, is scheduled to be one of four drivers for Mullins Racing during the two-day test session at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Mullins has made two ARCA Racing Series starts at Daytona, earning a best finish of eighth in 2016.
“We’re really looking forward to getting on track for the annual open test at Daytona,” Mullins said. “We’re thrilled to be bringing two cars with us and we’ve got a great lineup of drivers joining us. Hopefully we can turn a lot of laps and learn a lot ahead of the opening race of the season.”
Joining Mullins Racing for the ARCA Racing Series open test are returning driver Robert Bruce, Andrew Belmont and Dick Karth.
Bruce is no stranger to Mullins Racing. The 50-year-old native of Virginia tested at Daytona International Speedway last year with Mullins Racing before returning to the team to make his ARCA Racing Series debut at Minnesota’s Elko Speedway later in the year. He scored a 12th-place finish in his series debut that night after starting 15th.
Belmont, the son of former ARCA team owner, driver and crew chief Andy Belmont, will turn his first laps at Daytona International Speedway during the annual open test. Belmont has made six ARCA Racing Series starts in his career, scoring a best finish of 17th in 2009 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds dirt mile. The 25-year-old driver has worked in multiple capacitates in ARCA for his father’s race team, including as a crew chief and crew member. More recently the 25-year-old Pennsylvania native has been racing modifieds on dirt tracks around Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Karth comes to Mullins Racing after making his ARCA Racing Series debut in 2017 at Road America in his home state of Wisconsin, where he earned a 21st-place finish. The 65-year-old competitor is a lifelong racing fan who became involved in motorsports as a competitor in 2005, driving a stock car previously owned by Junie Donlavey and driven by Dick Trickle at vintage motorsports events with the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs. He’ll also be turning his first laps at Daytona during the open test.
Mullins is looking forward to the test so that the team can gain valuable data about the new composite body, which will be making its superspeedway debut on Feb. 10 during the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire.
“We’re very anxious to see how the composite body will draft in large packs,” Mullins said. “We’re also very interested to see how tire wear is going to be affected by the new downforce package on these cars. The big downforce package that these cars have is going to change the racing around. We’d been racing the previous cars in ARCA for many years and now we’re in a whole new world. It’s going to be a totally different learning experience for the entire field.
“We’ve got lots to learn, so the test can’t get here fast enough.”
Mullins Racing will field at least one entry at Daytona International Speedway for Mullins during the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire, with the potential for a second entry should the team find a suitable driver.
“We’re definitely going to be brining one car back for the race and if we can find a suitable driver for the second car, then we might bring a second car,” Mullins said. “We have a lot of details to sort out regarding that second car and hopefully we can put a program together so we can bring it to Daytona.”