(TOLEDO, Ohio – April 18, 2014) – Leilani Munter couldn’t be more excited to be driving in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 at Talladega Superspeedway next month. Not only does she get to be behind the wheel of a race car, she also gets to drive a car with a paint scheme that she believes in.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver plans on driving the No. 55 Venturini Motorsports car with a “Blackfish” theme, based on the CNN documentary about ocean theme parks and captive Orcas.
“I didn’t think it was going to be a go,” Munter said. “I had kind of given up hope.”
Late last month, however, hope was restored when Munter went on a radio show with Sam Simon, a famed-Hollywood producer who helped create shows such as the “Simpsons.” When Munter told her story of trying to raise money to drive the “Blackfish” car, Simon told her he would pay whatever she needed.
“I kept asking if he was for real,” she said. “I started crying. I was like, ‘are you sure, are you sure.’ He said, ‘yes, for the third time, yes.’”
She said Simon plans to be at the Saturday, May 3 race.
“It’s going to be exciting having him there,” she said. “It was just so out of the blue. I never expected it. I just couldn’t believe it. He is big into animal rights and he’s as passionate about it as I am. This is such an exciting time.
“I want to win this race for all of the captive Orcas out there.”
Munter started the season with a 28th place finish at Daytona International Speedway and still has hopes of running in more ARCA events this season. This will be her first race at Talladega Superspeedway, a 2.66-mile track that is the longest oval on the ARCA Racing Series schedule. She tested this week at the open ARCA Racing Series test and had the fourth-fastest lap of any car at the test.
“I can’t wait,” she said. “I’ve been on the track, but I’ve never raced there. I know I’ll have a good car.”
Munter is teaming up with the Oceanic Preservation Society for the “Blackfish” car.
Venturini Motorsports had the Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell car at Talladega last year when Milka Duno won the pole in the No. 35 car. Caleb Armstrong finished third in the No. 55 Venturini Motorsports car.
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. The race starts at 10 a.m. CT and is part of a day at Talladega that includes the same-day NASCAR Nationwide race and NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying.
By Doug Donnelly, arcaracing.com