Off Season Testing - Duno And Sheltra Motorsports Impress In ARCA Testing At Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Dec 20, 2011: Milka Duno and her Sheltra Motorsports team left a solid impression after three days of ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards testing at Daytona International Speedway last weekend. Setting fast time in two separate sessions, Duno and her Sheltra Motorsports team often found themselves atop the speed charts at the famed 2.5-mile oval, proving they will be a team to watch when the ARCA Racing Series makes their return to Daytona in February for the season opening event.
"The team gave me a good car to drive and together we were able to get around the track pretty good," said Duno. "We needed Friday to sort some things out and when we hit the track on Saturday our results in the morning session put us on top and it showed that we were definitely heading in the right direction. Sunday was yet another good day for us as we very nearly topped the charts in the morning session and did top the charts in the second and last session. We did what we expected to do; what we are capable of doing. It was a good test."
Duno and her No. 63 team rolled into Daytona early Friday morning to begin the first day of testing and were eager to get started as they would, for the first time in their history, be racing with a Ford Fusion. This proved to be a challenge at first for Duno and team as they ended Friday with a fast time of 49.787 seconds (180.770 mph), 20th among the 53 drivers to make laps around Daytona's famed high-banks, but there would be no harder working team and that paid off as they continued to find speed with every change made throughout the weekend.
During Saturday morning's session, the third of six scheduled sessions, Duno and her Dave Leiner Jr.-led team saw all that hard work pay off as she set the fastest time of all three sessions, circling the 2.5-mile track in 48.383 seconds (186.016 mph). This would be the quickest of the weekend's single car run testing sessions. Duno topped more than 50 different drivers who made laps throughout the session.
ARCA Racing Series officials opened up the Saturday afternoon session for drafting, and Duno proved her quick time was no fluke, as she backed up her morning run with a time of 48.166 seconds (186.854) for what would be her fastest lap time of Daytona testing.
Sunday morning would be another busy day for the Sheltra Motorsports team, but again they proved what a fast Ford Fusion they had at "The World Center of Racing." Holding the top time for much of the morning session, Duno actually helped Buster Graham's No. 88 get the top speed as she pushed him to the fastest time of the day while working together in the draft. Duno ended the session second on the charts, only six thousands of a second behind Graham.
In the sixth and final session on Sunday afternoon, after 21 hours of on-track action, Duno again put her No. 63 Ford atop the speed charts, pacing the superspeedway in a time of 48.340 seconds (186.181 mph). By taking the top time in Sunday's final practice session, Duno became the only driver, among more than 50, to lead two of the six test sessions at Daytona International Speedway.
"We really got a lot accomplished this weekend," said Crew Chief Dave Leiner Jr. "We didn't know exactly what we had when we first pulled into Daytona Friday morning, but the guys on the team did a great job and really got our Ford Fusion to where it needed to be. We have great Roush/Yates horsepower under the hood as well. Milka did a great job giving me feedback all weekend, and we really got the car dialed in. I am looking forward to returning here for the race in February. I believe that Milka and the entire Sheltra Motorsports team will be very competitive and put on a good show."