Concord, North Carolina (April 21, 2017) – Announced today, race car driver and prominent environmental activist, Leilani Münter, will make her highly anticipated return to racing next month when she visits the crimson state for the running of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards General Tire 200 on the high banks at Talladega Superspeedway.
Leilani, coming off a career performance in the ARCA series’ season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, will reintroduce her ever popular ‘Vegan Powered’ car with support from A Well-Fed World and World Animal News.
Known for her environmental stewardship, Leilani, a biology graduate, is an advocate for solar power, electric cars, plant-based diets and animal rights – and her passion is powerful, as evident every time she appears at the track proudly donning an explicit cause on the side of her rolling billboard. Her past race cars have included messages regarding renewable energy and clean energy legislation as well as award-winning documentaries The Cove and Blackfish.
“This is the year for the animals – Leilani is the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves and a true inspiration to all,” says Katie Cleary, founder of World Animal News. “She’s a trailblazer – not only is she making an impact in a sport mainly dominated by men but she’s strong, accomplished and laying a foundation for those to follow in her path without fear or judgement. Leilani’s passion is empowering – she’s living her dream and unselfishly becoming a role model for those who look up to her and her strong convictions.”
The Vegan Powered car, Leilani’s current mission, was a dream come true when the Minnesota native first unveiled her message earlier this year at Daytona. That dream continues today with an encore performance as a direct result of the overwhelming success and world-wide attention gained by her efforts both on and off the track back in February.
In her season debut at Daytona, Leilani the only female driver in the field, brought her adorning fans to their feet as she raced up into the fourth position during the final stages of the race placing her bid for history. Despite ultimately falling short and finishing 19th as result of a no fault on-track incident, Leilani’s efforts were praised by her car owner.
“Leilani is an absolute inspiration to all of us with her commitment to her beliefs,” says Billy Venturini, Director of Competition and team co-owner of Venturini Motorsports. “Her performance at Daytona was impressive. I believe there are many sponsors out there looking for someone who stands for them so strongly and therefore makes her a very unique race car driver and representative.”
Leilani, named Vegan Athlete of the Year at the 2016 Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles, credits a community of supporters for helping her bring her impactful message to a new and open-minded NASCAR audience.
“Bringing the vegan message to the racing community at Daytona was a dream come true for me,” said Leilani. “I was overwhelmed by the messages of support I received from around the world and the reaction from race fans at Daytona could not have been more positive. They loved our vegan food just like I knew they would! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to carry this message on to Talladega. I can’t thank A Well-Fed World and World Animal News enough for their support.”
No stranger to the Talladega spotlight, Leilani featured her memorable Blackfish car during the 2014 season – qualifying eighth, running as high as fourth, and finishing 14th in her sole appearance at the intimidating track known for producing speeds in excess of 200 mph. Overall, in nine previous ARCA Racing series attempts Leilani has twice finished a career best 12th coming at Chicagoland Speedway and Kansas Speedway in ’14.
Leilani, a driver for Venturini Motorsports (VMS) since 2014, will drive the No.98 Vegan Powered – World Animal News entry as part of a unique one race collaboration between VMS and Mason Mitchell Motorsports. Only expected to drive one race (Daytona) this season, Leilani’s recent Daytona campaign success generated support providing her the opportunity to compete at Talladega.
Already fielding three-cars for the May race, VMS tapped former team driver Mason Mitchell and crew chief Kevin Reed to assist with making Leilani’s Talladega ride a reality. Reed, a former race winning crew chief for VMS, and Billy Venturini have maintained a strong working relationship over the years. VMS crew chief Ryan London will assist in guiding the team.
As she did in Daytona, Leilani will continue delivering her vegan message throughout the entire ARCA/NASCAR race weekend at Talladega. As part of an extensive sponsorship activation campaign, Leilani and her partners will be front and center outside the iconic Alabama track delivering free Vegan food samples to thousands of race fans.
Leilani’s Vegan Powered tent display featuring her race car will be located in the fan-vendor area outside the front entrance of Talladega Superspeedway. The Vegan Powered tent was made possible by A Well-Fed World, World Animal News, and Peace 4 Animals.
During the race weekend, former NFL player David Carter, known as ‘The 300-Pound Vegan’ and vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke will join Leilani in the fan area throughout Talladega’s 3-day weekend event.
The ARCA Racing Series General Tire 200 from Talladega Superspeedway will air live on FOX SPORTS 1 Friday, May 5. To learn more about Leilani visit her website at www.leilani.green or follow her on social media @LeilaniMunter (Twitter and Instagram) and LeilaniMunter (Facebook).
For more information on the campaign visit VeganPowered.org. You can also join thousands of race fans and take the pledge (link to pledge page- https://actionsprout.io/678B7A/initial) to go vegan for a day.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, Daniel Suarez, and Brandon Jones. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (www.NIASHF.org) and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.