Maryeve Dufault Looking To Earn Respect, Trust And Creditability In Daytona Debut
DAYTONA BEACH, February 9, 2011: It was evident when the three-day open test for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards concluded at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway last month that the series’ newest team and driver were bound and determined to be contenders.
Tony Marks Racing (TMR) and Rookie of the Year candidate Maryeve (pronounced Mary-EV) Dufault (pronounced DU-FAU) will look to keep their momentum train rolling and put their No. 12 Tony Marks Racing Dodge Charger on the map when the ARCA Racing Series kicks off their season on Saturday afternoon with the running of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.
Armed with the ageless Larry Moore as their crew chief, Dufault and the TMR team head to the newly re-paved superspeedway looking to kick off their inaugural season on the right foot but also gain the Canadian some attention and experience at one of the series’ most prestigious race tracks.
“This is an incredible opportunity and I surely want to make the best of it,” said Dufault, who joins the ARCA Racing Series tour after a stint in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 and a successful and impressive career in Formula cars. “We had a very productive test and I’m extremely optimistic about the race.”
Even though Dufault, a native of Sorel, Quebec, and TMR realize that they have a fast Dodge nameplate with horsepower from Illmor Engineering, the yellow stripe indicating rookie status on the back bumper of Dufault’s Charger could be her biggest downfall. Still, the team is hoping to show in practice on Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning that even though she may be a rookie, she has a feel and a sense for what is going on around her.
“Daytona will be my first restrictor plate race,” offered Dufault, who currently resides in Redondo Beach, California. “That’s pretty intense for any rookie, but I have a strong team centered on giving me the best they can and in return I’m going to give them 150 percent behind the wheel.”
For car owner and Ohio entrepreneur Tony Marks, the realization of having his own team competing on the high banks of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway is a dream come true.
“I tested a few years ago in the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona and was anticipating racing myself,” recalled Marks. “However, I decided to take a step back from my own racing career and help launch the racing careers of my son and daughter. I don’t take any of that back for a second. The timing was right for us to be here now, so here we are. This weekend is going to be a proud moment for me, my family, our marketing partners and everyone else who makes Tony Marks Racing possible.”
He added, “Maryeve is the real deal. We’ve tested the heck out of her the last month or so and she’s done a tremendous job. Her throttle response is impressive and her feedback is that of a veteran. She is so determined. You can see in her the desire and passion for racing in all that she does and you know that she is building every day in her quest to reach her ultimate goal of racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS). I’m very delighted to have her behind the wheel of the No. 12 Tony Marks Racing Dodge Charger.”
To help develop a new fan-base and center some attentiveness on their new marketing partners, Tony Marks Racing will carry an on-board camera for Saturday’s anticipated thriller. The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 will mark the second consecutive year that a female has hosted an on-board camera.
“I’m very appreciative to carry an on-board camera not only to represent our marketing partners and team but the ARCA Racing Series as well,” Dufault sounded. “Hopefully we’ll be able to provide some excellent video for the race fans and supporters who are watching at the track and at home.”
Veteran NASCAR spotter Mike Calinoff will help guide the avid open-wheeler in her ARCA Racing Series debut. And despite being one of six females to test in January at the “World Center of Racing”, Dufault will be joined by one other female for the first of two restrictor plate events this season.
The first official week of February will be a busy one for TMR. In addition to competition at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Jared Marks, the son of car owner Tony Marks, will be competing at New Smyrna (Fla.) International Speedway in his No. 5 Dodge-backed Super Late Model (SLM) and Crate Late Model (CLM) divisions beginning on Friday, February 11, 2011.
The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona (80 laps / 200 miles) is the first of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 48th ARCA race held at Daytona is a three-day show. Practice begins Thursday, February 10 with a four hour practice session planned from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for Friday, February 11 slated to begin at 2:00 p.m. A forty-five minute final practice session is etched in on Saturday, February 12th from 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. The event will take the green flag later that day shortly after 4:30 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage including live timing and scoring and radio broadcast through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.