Reigning Hickory Motor Speedway champion to test with Mullins Racing at Daytona
Landon Huffman is making the leap from the Birthplace of NASCAR Stars to the World Center of Racing later this month.
Huffman, 26, from Claremont, North Carolina, will turn his first laps around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway on January 13-14 when the ARCA Menards Series returns to the famed superspeedway for its annual pre-race practice.
He heads to Daytona with Mullins Racing months removed from his first NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Division I track championship at Hickory Motor Speedway.
“I never thought I was ever going to get to run laps at Daytona, so this is pretty incredible,” Huffman said. “It’s every short track racer’s dream to run laps at Daytona. My dad had a quote, I use it in my podcast as part of my intro, after his first race at Daytona, he said, ‘it doesn’t matter if you’re racing a go-kart, slot car, or foot race, you won at Daytona.’”
Huffman picked up his first championship at Hickory Motor Speedway in September. His father, Robert Huffman, won two championships at Hickory in the late 1980s before going on to win five championships in the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series.
“I’ve wanted a championship at Hickory since I began my driving career back in 2010,” Huffman said. “Dad won two of them and went on to do bigger things. Putting my name on the wall out front beside his name is an accomplishment I’m most proud of. I grew up racing at Hickory, watched my dad run many races there, and he watched my grandpa race there many times as well. It’s a family tradition and I’m proud to continue moving it forward.”
The husband-and-wife co-owners of Mullins Racing, Willie and Dinah Mullins, came to Hickory Motor Speedway last summer to watch Huffman race. They became fast friends and soon the two parties reached an agreement for Huffman to pilot one of the Mullins Racing cars at Daytona in ARCA’s pre-race practice.
“I have been internet friends with Dinah and Willie,” Huffman recalled. “They came down and watched me race at Hickory, came down to the pits, and we really hit it off. I really respect how they race, we can relate on a lot of levels, based on the money we spend versus our competitors, they’re a family team and do a lot of it themselves, a lot of mutual respect. They’ve done a great job building their program. Anytime I can work with people like that, it’s a good opportunity.”
Huffman hopes to compete in a handful of ARCA Menards Series races for Mullins Racing at some point this season.
“You never know what may play out,” Huffman stated. “There’s opportunity out there for us to nail down a race or two but it comes down to funding. If we stay on the track we’re on, there may be some opportunities that come along, but we’ll just take it one step at a time right now.”
In addition to being a race car driver, Huffman also has a significant social media presence. That includes a popular YouTube channel where he chronicles his life as a weekly racer.
“I haven’t done a podcast for a couple years, and just started one called Huffman Racing Radio and it’s been going really well,” Huffman explained. “My YouTube channel helps get sponsors and I correlate all my content related efforts together. This past season was my first full year vlogging and I grew from over 2,000 subscribers to over 15,000 now and over 1.5 million views in 2022. We’re leading the charge on the short track front when it comes to YouTube content. I’ve sold a lot of merchandise and brought in some new partners.”
Huffman is one of five drivers who will drive for Mullins Racing during the ARCA pre-race practice at Daytona in January, and Willie Mullins, who finished second at Daytona in 2018, is excited about to have Huffman as part of the team.
In addition to Huffman, Willie Mullins, Kayla Surles and Brayton Laster will join Mullins Racing for the Daytona pre-race practice, with a fifth driver yet to be confirmed.
“We are extremely excited to bring Landon into the fold,” Mullins said. “The group of drivers we have put together are not only great on track, but great off track too. We embrace big personalities, and this group does not lack in that department. Each driver we have has created their own incredible online presence.”
The ARCA Menards Series pre-race practice at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for January 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST each day.