LANGHORNE, Pa. – The Belmont name will return to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 10 when Andrew Belmont competes in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season opener.
Eleven years after his father, former racer, team owner and crew chief Andy Belmont, competed at Daytona, the 25-year-old Andrew Belmont will make his first start at the 2.5-mile superspeedway during the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire thanks to a partnership with team owner Wayne Hixson.
“It’s kind of been a long time coming. I’ve been going there for years, working on cars, crew chiefing and changing tires,” said Andrew Belmont, who drive the No. 2 Ford at Daytona. “It’s nice to have a change of pace and get behind the wheel and really try to prove what I’m able to do. I’m really anxious and excited to get down there and give it a shot.”
The younger Belmont has made six previous ARCA Racing Series starts, but none since 2010. More recently the 25-year-old Pennsylvania native has been racing modifieds on dirt tracks around Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He got back behind the wheel of an ARCA car during the annual Daytona open test in January when he turned laps in a car prepared by Mullins Racing.
The chance to follow in his father’s footsteps by racing at Daytona means a great deal to Andrew Belmont, who is looking forward to the chance to show what he can do.
“It’s one thing to follow in my dad’s footsteps as far as driving race cars. I started a couple of ARCA races before and did pretty well, but it is totally different when you come to Daytona,” Andrew Belmont said. “A lot of people dream and hope to get here and never really get here at all. It really means a lot to me and I’m very fortunate to be in this position and I’m just looking forward to having a good time with my family being there and putting on a good show.”
For his father Andy Belmont, who will be working as crew chief for Mullins Racing and driver Willie Mullins during the Daytona ARCA Racing Series opener, the chance to watch his son compete at Daytona is a dream come true.
“I can’t even put it into words,” said Andy Belmont, who has raced in the former Goody’s Dash Series, ARCA and the NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona. “I was blessed to be able to race Dash cars there, sit on the pole in a Dash car, race a Cup car and an ARCA car there. It’s a heck of a moment to race at Daytona, but to see your kid do it, I can’t even put into words what that means to me.”
The No. 2 Ford Andrew Belmont will drive will be carrying several familiar sponsors. ModSpace, which sponsored the Andy Belmont Racing when the team went to victory lane in 2011 during the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill., will serve as primary sponsor for the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire.
“We are thrilled to have ModSpace supporting Andrew for Daytona’s ARCA Race,” said William Mann, Vice President of Business Development for ModSpace. “We have a long history and they have been solid partners! Our B2B platform truly makes this win both on and off the track.”
In addition to ModSpace, the car Andrew Belmont will drive will also carry sponsorship from Deka Batteries, Spartan Cargo, ISC Racer Tape, KB Letterin’ Mechanix Wear, Continental Fire & Safety, G Force, LaJoie of Seating and PWD Lubricants.
“It’s really cool to have these relationships where they’ll just come back on a whim to help us out,” Andrew Belmont said. “There are just a list of people who we’ve worked with forever and it’s really awesome for everybody to come together for a deal like this with me driving.”
Andrew Belmont said the team, which will be lead by veteran crew chief Tommy Bear, would be happy with a top-15 finish, but the goal is to leave Daytona with the car in one piece.
“I hope to finish somewhere in the top-15. We do have a really good piece, but the problem is we’ve never taken it to a superspeedway before. It’s pretty much a guessing game as far as we’re going to be on the speed charts,” Andrew Belmont said. “There are always a bunch of wrecks and one or two big ones. With the amount of rookies starting I’m banking on a lot of cars being torn up. If we can survive past halfway and get down to 20 or 30 laps to go, then we’ll see what we’ve got to work with.”
The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire is the season opening event of the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season. Action gets underway on Thursday, Feb. 8 with a two-hour practice session from 4 to 6 p.m. Final practice will take place on Friday, Feb. 9 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 3:30 p.m. The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10 and will be televised live by FOX Sports 1. ARCARacing.com will provide live timing and scoring.