(CONCORD, N.C. – July 19, 2013) – Venturini Motorsports celebrated its 30th season in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards last year with a dominant win at Chicagoland Speedway. Yet again, 30 is the goal. On Sunday, the team will have a chance at defending Victory Lane and earning its 30th ARCA win in a return to the place the Venturini family calls home.
Today, two-time ARCA driver champion Bill Venturini and owner champion Cathy Venturini, and son and team general manager Billy Venturini, are the key players in the team’s operation from North Carolina. But the family racing lineage began over 60 years ago in Chicago, when Bill’s father, Tony, raced at Soldier Field.
Bill and Cathy formed the team now known as Venturini Motorsports and entered ARCA competition in the early 1980s, and it was only 20 years ago that the family moved to Charlotte to stay ahead in racing. Still, by years, the majority of the Venturini family’s racing history has taken place in and around Chicago, making Sunday’s race as important as any.
“Chicago and Daytona always seem to be the two that we put checkmarks on at the beginning of the year that are important to win,” Billy Venturini said. “We have been lucky enough to win Chicago a couple of times. Hopefully, with our performance in the last intermediate race at Michigan we can roll that recent success to a win at Chicago. This race personally means a lot to our family and friends.”
Kevin Swindell led every lap at the 1.5-mile Joliet, Ill. track last season, establishing a new race speed record of 141.103 mph. In Sunday’s Ansell ActivArmr 150, four Venturini Motorsports drivers will have a chance to join Scott Lagasse (2008) and Swindell as Venturini winners at Chicagoland by scoring a milestone win.
Justin Boston, who is fourth in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards point standings, will be at the wheel of the Venturinis’ flagship No. 25 car in Sunday’s race, hoping to improve upon an impressive speedway performance at Michigan International Speedway last month. Boston (No. 25 ZLOOP Computer & Electronic Recycling Centers Toyota) led 15 laps before finishing fourth, which tied his career high.
Milka Duno (No. 35 CanTV/Milka Way Toyota), the team’s other full-time driver, stands seventh in points, only 110 points from fifth. Duno finished 18th at Chicagoland last year, and will look to improve on an already consistent run which has seen her place between 10th and 13th in each of the last six races this year.
Caleb Armstrong (No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota) last raced in ARCA at Talladega in May, finishing a career-high third. Racing just a three-hour drive from his hometown of New Castle, Ind., Armstrong undoubtedly has his eyes on earning his first ARCA win in front of a Midwestern crowd.
The local connection is even stronger for A.J. Henriksen (No. 55 Venturini Motorsports Toyota), who calls Elgin, Ill. – located fewer than 60 miles from the track – his hometown. Henriksen’s 90th ARCA start will be his eighth at Chicagoland but first since 2008. He placed seventh in 2001.
So as the green flag drops on Sunday’s Ansell ActivArmr 150 to mark the halfway point of ARCA’s 2013 season, Venturini Motorsports has plenty going for it: hometown support, familiar surroundings, and a strong history of recent speed and success.
Practice will begin at 4:10 p.m. Saturday, with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at noon Sunday. The 100-lap, 150-mile race will begin at 5 p.m. CT and air live on SPEED. ARCARacing.com will feature live timing and scoring coverage of all on-track events