Willie Mullins in action during the ARCA Menards Series pre-race practice at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 14, 2022. (James Gilbert/NASCAR)
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. † Mullins Racing is set to embark upon one of the most important weeks in team history.
The team owned by Willie and Dinah Mullins will compete in the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series openers this week at New Smyrna Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, respectively.
“This is definitely one of the most important race weeks we’ve ever had,” Willie Mullins said. “Our team is showing signs of potential in the big game of ARCA. We want to go out and continue to prove that we belong in this world.”
— Mullins Racing (@mullins_racing) February 8, 2022
At New Smyrna, Willie Mullins will be behind the wheel of his No. 11 Crow Wing Recycling Ford for his third start at the historic half-mile asphalt oval. Last year at New Smyrna, Mullins was able to stay out of trouble and earn a 10th-place finish, his first top-10 finish in ARCA competition on a short track.
The goal is similar this year, with Mullins hoping to stay out of trouble during the Race to Stop Suicide 200 presented by Place of Hope on Tuesday and earn a lead lap, top-10 finish against some of the best young stock car drivers the world has to offer.
“The race at New Smyrna gets me back in the car,” Mullins said. “Me being a driver, I want to get back in the car and go racing. We had a disappointing finish at Salem at the end of last year, but it was definitely a lot more of a learning experience. We want to continue on that learning path and get better.”
Following Tuesday’s race at New Smyrna, all attention turns to legendary 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. Mullins will wheel the No. 3 Crow Wing Recycling/CorvetteParts.net Chevrolet during the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire on Saturday afternoon.
The team will also field the No. 03 Ford for rookie Brayton Laster at Daytona, the first time in team history that Mullins Racing will field two cars for the race at Daytona International Speedway. Laster joins the team for the race at Daytona after taking part in the pre-race practice at the track in January.
“We want to make sure Brayton has the best experience possible this weekend,” Mullins said. “For Brayton, I’d love to see him finish in the top half of the field with all the fenders on it. It’s going to be a big, fast learning experience for him but he proved he can get up to speed quick during the pre-race practice in January, so we’re confident he’ll do well.”
For Mullins, who has one top-five and three top-10 finishes during his career at Daytona International Speedway, nothing short of a victory is acceptable.
“Anything less than a win for my car is a disappointment at Daytona,” said Mullins, who earned a career-best second-place finish at Daytona in 2018. “We’ve shown we can run up front when it matters most. We have great equipment, a fast race car and a determined team. We just need to do all the i’s and cross all the t’s.”
The Race to Stop Suicide 200 presented by Place of Hope from New Smyrna Speedway is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 15. Live streaming coverage will be provided by FloRacing, with the race scheduled to begin at approximately 7:40 pm ET.
The Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire from Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 19. Live television coverage will be provided by FS1, with the race scheduled to begin at 1:30 pm ET.