16-year-old Michael Lira learns the craft of superspeedway racing with Kimmel Racing

16-year-old Michael Lira learns the craft of superspeedway racing with Kimmel Racing
(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - December 23, 2013) - Port Orange, Florida's Michael Lira got a big-time taste of superspeedway racing over the weekend, participating in the three-day ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards open test at Daytona Int'l Speedway.

Lira, 16, tested in the No. 69 Gary Yeomans Ford with Kimmel Racing at the "World Center of Racing".

"The car is running well and Michael is doing a great job," said crew chief Bill Kimmel.  "He showed a tremendous amount of improvement during the first two days . We're working hard to give him the best car, and his communication with us has been very good.  The more he continues to run, the better he'll be able to communicate to us what the car needs, and he'll just keep getting better."

For Lira, day two of testing presents a chance to really dig in and put the car through its paces without the distraction of first-day jitters.

"On the first day, you're a little nervous," Lira said.  "It was my first time on the track and there was definitely a more cautious approach on my part.  Going into this morning though, I had a different mentality. I felt like I could just get in the car and focus, and I'm trying to turn better lap times every time we go back out on the track."

Lira's bolstered confidence showed this morning, as he improved seven spots in the speed charts from yesterday's ranking, besting more than half of the field in his first effort at Daytona.

"I'm expecting it to take a while until I can get totally comfortable," Lira said.  "But, I'm excited about the progress that we've made so far, and I feel better than I did yesterday."

While Lira will not be eligible to race at the world-famous Daytona International Speedway for a few more years due to the 18-year minimum age requirement to compete in superspeedway events, this weekend's testing sessions provide valuable seat time for the young driver.liracarshotmadison2013.jpg

"The more track time I get here, the more prepared I'll be once I'm allowed to compete," Lira said.  "It's an exciting opportunity.  Can't wait until the real racing begins."

Lira finished a career-best seventh at Salem Speedway in 2013, driving for Kimmel Racing.

For more information on Michael Lira and the No. 69 team, visit michaelliraracing.com. 

Contact: Michael McLatchey, 407-694-3134

Michael McLatchey <mmclatchey@anthemmotorsports.com>