February 11, 2021 (Concord, NC) – Arguably one of the most anticipated starts of any season in professional sport, NASCAR & ARCA takes center stage this weekend, kicking-off it’s 2021 season with a full slate of racing on the legendary high-banks at Daytona International Speedway.
A weekend like no other, this year marks the first time in history race fans will be treated to the ARCA Menards Series, Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup Series competing alongside each other on the biggest weekend of racing.
In a sport spotted with history and legends at every divisional level, Venturini Motorsports (VMS) carries the torch in the ARCA Menards Series (ARCA). Embarking on their 39th year of racing, the highly decorated race team, with 72 overall series victories, returns to the spotlight in Saturday’s 42nd Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire season-opener seeking it’s unpresented fifth consecutive trip to Daytona’s Gatorade Victory Lane.
VMS, with former drivers Michael Self (2019 & 2020) and Harrison Burton (2019), have won the last three consecutive season openers at Daytona. Self also won the inaugural road course race last season – sweeping both Daytona events. John Wes Townley gave the team its first Daytona victory in 2013. Team patriarch and two-time ARCA Champion (1987 & 1991), Bill Venturini, holds the all-time ARCA Daytona qualifying record with a fast lap of 200.209 set in 1987.
A career launching pad for some of NASCAR’s biggest stars, VMS is back to defend their ARCA Daytona title with another stout group of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) drivers’ eager to etch their names in history when the green flag drops this weekend.
Rolling out a four team effort, VMS’s fleet of Toyota Camrys will feature drivers, Drew Dollar (No.15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota), Corey Heim (No.20 JBL Toyota), Gracie Trotter (No.25 Mobil 1 Toyota) and Derek Griffith (No.55 SpotOn Toyota).
Drew Dollar, who finished third in last year’s Daytona event, is coming off a banner season highlighted by his first career victory at Talladega Superspeedway and finishing fourth in the ARCA series’ championship driver point standings. Dollar will make his second career start at Daytona with crew chief Billy Venturini atop the pit box for the No.15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota during Saturday’s season-opener. Dollar will hold the distinction of being the sole VMS driver in the field with Daytona race experience.
Running the full 20-race ARCA schedule behind the wheel of VMS’ No.20 JBL Toyota in 2021, 18-year old Corey Heim will make his Daytona debut with veteran crew chief Shannon Rursch leading the way. Heim, the winner of last season’s finale at Kansas Speedway looks to pick up where he left off as begins his season journey in search of the Drivers Championship.
Poised to run the biggest race of her career to date, Gracie Trotter, driving the No.25 Mobil 1 Toyota, will make her first-ever start on the high-banks of Daytona. Trotter, who will be running a 10-race deal with VMS for the 2021 season, became the first female driver in history to win an ARCA sanctioned event after capturing the checkered flag in 2020 during the ARCA West race at the Bullring in Las Vegas. Trotter will lean on the experience of crew chief Kevin Reed.
Set for his Daytona debut, Derek Griffith will hold the wheel of the No.55 SpotOn Toyota during Saturday’s running of the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire. Griffith, a short track menace from New Hampshire signed on with VMS during the off-season to run Daytona and Kansas with support from SpotOn, a San Francisco based company specializing in small business software and payments solutions. Griffith will be teamed up with veteran crew chief, Dave Leiner.
The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire scheduled for Saturday, February 13, will air LIVE on FS1 at 1:30PM. Qualifying for the 80-lap event will be held Saturday morning at 8:30am. The race will also be carried live on FOX Sports GO and MRN / SiriusXM.