ARCA Menards Series Advance: Daytona International Speedway

DGR Crosley
Daytona International Speedway

Track: Daytona Int’l Speedway, 3.61-mile road course
Race: 12 of 20
Event: General Tire 100 (104.69 miles, 29 laps)

Schedule:
Friday, August 14
2:00 p.m………..Practice
5:00 p.m……….Race (MAVTV & Trackpass)
(all times ET)

Hailie Deegan, No. 4 Monster Energy Ford Fusion

Hailie Deegan

Hailie Deegan is one of the few drivers with experience on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. She was able to test and race there earlier this year for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race in a Ford Mustang GT4. She teamed up with fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe for the four-hour competition.

So far this season in 11 ARCA Menards Series starts, Deegan has earned two top-five and nine top-10 finishes. She has spent quite a bit of time on the Ford Performance racing simulator in Concord, N.C., preparing for the 29-lap road race on Friday. Teams will be allowed a brief practice session to get a feel for the track and help Deegan make adjustments to her driving style for the heavier stock car, versus a sports car.

The ARCA Menards Series General Tire 100 from Daytona International Speedway will be run on Friday, Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on MAVTV and streamed live on NBC Gold TrackPass. The 29-lap race will have one race break on, or near lap 15.

Deegan on Daytona: “One of the advantages I have going to this road course is that I raced and tested there in an IMSA sports car, so I got a lot of seat time and a lot of laps. I know the line and the track, so since we only get an hour of practice in the stock car, I’m going to be a lot more ready than most right off the bat. We can use practice to specifically work on the car. I’ve been on the Ford Performance simulator a lot to help find where I’m going to change my braking points. I noticed on the simulator I’ll have to back up and slow down everything for the ARCA car since being in a stock car is so different than a Mustang GT4, but it’s easier to back yourself up than push yourself forward.”

Taylor Gray, No. 17 Place of Hope Ford Fusion

Taylor Gray

Although Taylor Gray does not have experience on the Daytona road course, he does have the advantage of already competing in two road races this season. The 15-year-old rookie ran the ARCA Menards Series West doubleheader at Utah Motorsports Campus road course in June. For his first time turning left and right, he picked up on the skills quickly and finished fourth in the first 31-lap race. While running in the top five in the second race, a battery issue put him back in 11th to finish the race. His DGR-Crosley team is taking the same Ford Fusion to Daytona that he raced at Utah in June.

Gray has had an impressive season so far since he was able to start racing in the various ARCA Menards Series after he turned 15 on March 25 and the ARCA schedule resumed in June. In seven ARCA starts (combining all three series) he has four top-five and five top-10 finishes.

Gray will race a special paint scheme at Daytona showcasing Place of Hope. Place of Hope is a faith-based, state licensed organization focused on providing programs and services to end the cycles of abuse, neglect, homelessness and human trafficking. They offer support to children, youth and families in need. They are the largest, most diverse, residential children and families organization in Palm Beach County (Fla.) and the Treasure Coast. Their goal is to help those they serve find healing and restoration, which leads to a successful future. For more information, visit https://www.placeofhope.com/.

The ARCA Menards Series General Tire 100 from Daytona International Speedway will be run on Friday, Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on MAVTV and streamed live on NBC Gold TrackPass. The 29-lap race will have one race break on, or near lap 15.

Gray on Daytona: “This will technically be my third road race since I did two at Utah Motorsports Campus in June in ARCA West. I had a lot of fun racing there and we had plenty of speed, but a flat tire kept us from competing for a win in the first race and a battery issue kept us from a top five in the second race. I’ve spent some time on the Ford Performance simulator learning the Daytona course, so hopefully that will speed up my learning curve during practice on Friday. I’ll be racing the same Ford as we took to Utah, so we know it’s fast.

“I’m also happy to have Place of Hope on my car for the race. It is a great organization helping kids and families in South Florida. My family has been a big supporter for years and we hope this race helps bring them some awareness for donations.”

Thad Moffitt, No. 46 Richard Petty Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion

Thad Moffitt

Thad Moffitt will be making his first career road course start in any series on Sunday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. In his 26 starts in the ARCA Menards Series, they have all been on ovals. He was scheduled to compete in two road races this year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, but both were canceled due to the pandemic.

So far this season, Moffitt has competed in all 11 ARCA Menards Series events with two top-five and seven top-10 finishes and is currently fifth in the driver point standings. To prepare for this new challenge on Friday, he has been practicing on the iRacing simulator and attended two road racing schools in January.

The No. 46 Richard Petty Performance Plus Oil Ford Fusion Moffitt will be driving at Daytona this Friday is the same car Tanner Gray raced at Watkins Glen last year in the K&N East race.

The ARCA Menards Series General Tire 100 from Daytona International Speedway will be run on Friday, Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on MAVTV and streamed live on NBC Gold TrackPass. The 29-lap race will have one race break on, or near lap 15.

Moffitt on Daytona: “I’ve never driven a road course and I have no idea what to expect. I went to a couple driving schools in January to help prepare since I was scheduled to run the ARCA races at Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen before the season was shuffled around. I’ve also done a lot of iRacing on the simulator. My main goal for the weekend is to try to keep all four tires on the track and just take what it gives us. Instead of trying to race the other drivers, I’m going to race the track. There are a few drivers, including my teammate Hailie Deegan, who have a lot of road course experience who I can learn from throughout the day. I just want to keep all the fenders on it and see what we can do.”