Milka Duno will make her stock car debut during the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards open test at Daytona International Speedway December 18, 19 and 20, 2009. Duno will participate in the test behind the wheel of Braun Racing's No. 90 Toyota.
While no stranger to the Daytona Beach, FL-based track, this will be Duno's first opportunity to go around the 2.5-mile tri-oval in a metal-skinned stock car. Her No. 90 Camry will have less downforce than either the IndyCar Series cars she's driven the past three seasons, or the Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes that she competed in for the three seasons before that.
"This will be a new challenge for me and one that I've been looking forward to," said Duno. "I know it won't be easy - it will be hard work - but work that I'm ready to take on."
With a second-place finish in 2007, Duno holds the record for the highest finish ever by a female driver in the 45-year history of the 24 Hours of Daytona at Daytona International Speedway.The highest finish by a female driver in ARCA competition at Daytona is second, posted by Shawna Robinson in 2001.
Starting with her four-win season in the American Le Mans Series in 2001 and continuing through her thee-win Rolex Series years, Milka has been offered opportunities to compete in stock cars and in the NASCAR Series virtually every season since.
"My goal was to reach open-wheel racing in the United States and the Indy 500," said Duno, "I just completed my third season in IndyCar and this year I decided not to once again pass on an opportunity to get behind the wheel of a stock car."
The most successful independent team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Braun Racing began as an ARCA Racing Series team in 2002. Team owner, Todd Braun, found immediate success in the series, capturing an impressive four wins in his first season. The following year, he moved into the Nationwide Series and has since grown into a four-car operation. Still, Braun keeps an eye on drivers coming through the series in which he got his start.
"When Milka and I met, I expressed an interest in testing her in a stock car," said Braun. "The interest was mutual and we were more than happy to make it a reality. We discussed that in order to compete in NASCAR a driver must first participate in an ARCA Racing Series test. She is a very talented driver and has experienced success in both sportscar and open-wheel racing. The natural progression would be for her to drive a stock car. I have always enjoyed working with drivers new to stock car racing and I look forward to the ARCA Racing Series test with Milka."