Category: 2023 News

The true story of the Ultra Blue Crew, Venturini Motorsports’ all-female pit crew

CONCORD, N.C. — The date is Nov. 21, 1987. The ARCA Permatex SuperCar Series is visiting Atlanta Motor Speedway for its season finale, and Bill Venturini is about to wrap up his first championship.

At the wheel of his No. 25 Amoco Chevrolet, Venturini makes the left turn to come down pit road for gas and new tires. When he slides to a stop in his pit box, his all-female pit crew gets to work servicing the car.

Yes, an all-female pit crew.

This scene was the norm for the team from 1985 through 1987, when Venturini’s pit crew, led by his wife Cathy Venturini, was comprised entirely of women.

Named the Ultra Blue Crew because of sponsorship from Permatex’s Ultra Blue Silicone Gasket, the women of the pit crew blazed a new trail in motorsports and proved pit road wasn’t a place just for men.

“I want people to realize how groundbreaking it was and how difficult it was at that time in history,” Cathy Venturini said. “At that time, women weren’t really in the pits much.”

Bill and Cathy Venturini were married in 1973. The two have been inseparable since. (Photo courtesy of Bill and Cathy Venturini)

The story of the Ultra Blue Crew begins with Bill and Cathy Venturini, who were married in July of 1973. The natives of Chicago were fixtures at nearby Rockford Speedway, where Bill Venturini was a regular competitor.

Bill Venturini eventually decided to expand his racing efforts to include the USAC Stock Car Series. When the USAC series was abandoned, he shifted his focus to what’s now the ARCA Menards Series.

Cathy Venturini stood alongside her husband every step of the way. She became a regular in the pits, where she helped the crew prepare and change tires, among other responsibilities.

“The groundwork started with her being so involved with me when I was racing from Day 1,” Bill Venturini said. “She was a big pusher for me to keep racing. She was always involved. She worked on the car with us the whole time.

“She wasn’t really a mechanic-mechanic, but anytime we needed tires changed, she did all of our tire changes for me.”

Bill Venturini and the Ultra Blue Crew were a regular fixture with the ARCA Menards Series from 1985 to 1987. (Photo courtesy of Bill and Cathy Venturini)

In 1982, Bill and Cathy Venturini traveled to Daytona International Speedway for the first time to compete with the ARCA Menards Series. It was during their long drive home from Daytona when the idea for what would eventually become the Ultra Blue Crew came into focus.

“It was an 18-hour drive; we had a lot to talk about,” Bill Venturini said. “I said to her, ‘You know, we’ve got to figure out how to get a sponsor.’ But there’s a thousand guys racing in Florida in the month of February. Why would somebody want to spend the money with us when there’s so many other people?

“There are a boatload of a talented drivers racing. So how do you get money for you if you’re just as good as them? You’ve got to do something that’ll make somebody want to spend some money with you.”

The conversation soon shifted to Cathy Venturini’s hands-on involvement with the team.

“We started talking, and because she was so involved, we made the comment, ‘Well, maybe we can have an all-female pit crew,’” Bill Venturini said. “That’s how it started.”

Their first attempt to find women for the pit crew didn’t go well. They ran an ad in popular racing newspaper National Speed Sport News with the words, “Wanted: Females for pit crew. Hard work, lousy hours, no pay, lots of fun.”

They didn’t get a single response.

Undeterred, they slowly began recruiting friends and family members to the all-female pit crew. By the end of 1982, Bill and Cathy Venturini had assembled a full crew of women that began performing pit stop demonstrations at shopping malls, fairs and other venues.

“We put a group of girls together, and we started practicing,” said Cathy Venturini, who served as one of the tire changers on the crew. “We were doing exhibitions where we were going to shopping malls and doing shows. It started kicking off really good. They wanted us everywhere. It was costing us. We were bringing our guys, plus we were bringing our girls for the shows. It was getting too costly. We did that for three years.”

The Ultra Blue Crew services the car driven by Bill Venturini during an ARCA Menards Series event in the 1980s. (Photo courtesy of Bill and Cathy Venturini)

At the conclusion of the 1984 season, Bill and Cathy Venturini made the decision to end the all-female pit crew program. It was simply costing them too much money.

“No one was paying us, and we were paying for it out of our pocket,” Bill Venturini said. “It just got to the point where we couldn’t afford it.”

That’s when Sports Illustrated came calling.

“It was like six months after we decided we weren’t going to have the all-female pit crew again, and we get a phone call from Sports Illustrated. By this time we’re running ARCA,” Bill Venturini said. “The editor says, ‘Well, we want to do a story on the all-female pit crew. Can you get the girls back together?’”

Bill and Cathy Venturini found themselves in a tough spot. They had a national publication interested in writing a story about them, but the story was about a program on which they had just closed the book.

They decided to give the all-female pit crew one more shot. They called Bill Price, who at the time oversaw Permatex, a well-known company that specialized in chemical technology for automotive maintenance and repair. Permatex also was a major supporter of ARCA.

Venturini pitched Price the idea of the all-female pit crew. As it turned out, Permatex was looking for a way to market its new Ultra Blue Silicone Gasket that was about to enter the market.

“I pitched him the sponsorship for the girls. I said, ‘All I want you to do is cover all the expenses and do whatever we’ve got to do for the all-female pit crew,” Venturini said. “Hung up the phone; half hour later we got a phone call back and he said, ‘OK, Permatex will do it.’”

The Ultra Blue Crew was born.

Cathy Venturini was never one to stand around and watch as her husband turned laps on a race track.

She always wanted to be involved. Before she started going over the wall as part of the Ultra Blue Crew, she was listed as the car owner on her husband’s race cars in the ARCA Menards Series.

While that may not seem like a big deal today, it was far from the norm at the time. She recalled one nerve-striking incident that took place at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the early 1980s during an open competition event.

“I was the registered car owner. I had my credentials,” she said. “But when it came time for the cars to go through the inspection line — and I’ve always been with the car — they stopped me and said, ‘You can’t go in the inspection line.’

“I’ve paid for my membership like every other car owner, and they’re all going through with their cars. I expect to be treated the same. So they assigned an official to me to walk with me through the inspection line.

“Back then, women weren’t really in the pits a lot. There were very few, and there were certain areas you didn’t go into, and the inspection line was one of them.”

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Cathy Venturini stands alongside her husband, Bill Venturini, prior to the start of an ARCA Menards Series event. (Photo courtesy of Bill and Cathy Venturini)

When the all-female pit crew was under construction, Cathy Venturini insisted on being involved. Bill Venturini wasn’t keen on the idea, but his wife refused to accept no for an answer.

“When we were putting the girls together to do pit stops, he said, ‘I don’t want you doing pit stops,’” Cathy Venturini recalled. “I looked at him and said, ‘How can I tell these ladies they have to do it when you won’t let me do it? That’s not fair.’ He said, ‘Well, I don’t want you changing a tire.’ I said, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”

Determined to prove to her husband that she was more than capable of doing the job, Cathy Venturini spent a week leading up to pit crew tryouts practicing. When they day of tryouts arrived, she was in her own league.

“I just blew everybody away,” Cathy Venturini said. “He was so mad at me. He said, ‘Alright, you’ve got it. You’ll be the tire changer.’ I loved changing tires. That, to me, was the best part of racing.”

From that point forward, Cathy Venturini was her husband’s front tire changer and the de-facto leader of the Ultra Blue Crew. She continued as part of the crew for several seasons after the Ultra Blue Crew program ended at the conclusion of the 1987 season.

“You don’t tell my wife she can’t do something. Then you’re in trouble,” Bill Venturini said.

The women who made up the Ultra Blue Crew came from all walks of life.

One member was the wife of the manager of one of the gas stations owned by Bill Venturini. Another was a former high school classmate, while at least two others were the spouses of some of the team’s sponsors.

At least two of the women were models. They met the Venturinis during an auto show and were convinced to join the program. One member was even a professional mud wrestler.

“It was hard to figure where they would come from,” Bill Venturini said.

Several of the women were family of Bill and Cathy Venturini. That included Carol Tortorice, Cathy Venturini’s younger sister, who was one of the tire changers. She was only 15 and a freshman in high school when she joined the Ultra Blue Crew.

“I wasn’t even technically allowed to be in the garage area yet,” Tortorice said. “I was not of age. The NASCAR guys thought it was hilarious, because after a few years of knowing me, they were like, ‘I thought you were 18 or 19 at the time.’ I said, ‘No, I just turned 16.’

“It was a standing joke for a couple years.”


Tortorice, who now works as a dance instructor, still remembers the looks she and the rest of the women received when they walked through garage areas.

“We broke this stigma and went against the grain when, so-to-speak, it was not acceptable,” Tortorice said. “When we got to the race track every week, we had to go get the gas, which was always at the fuel tanks, which were in the NASCAR garage. We would always have to go see Hoosier Tire or Goodyear Tire, both of them, their base was in the NASCAR garage.

“We would get our tires; we would have to go get our gas for the three or four days we were there. We had to go in these areas, but again, heads were turning constantly. Like, ‘What the heck? What are these women doing?’ I bet you it took the first year, at least, for them to recognize we weren’t there as a gimmick.”

Tortorice said she learned many life lessons during her time on the road with the Ultra Blue Crew. It was an experience she’ll never take for granted.

“That I think is probably one of the biggest highlights for me,” Tortorice said. “I learned so many life lessons as a teenage girl on the road. I knew I was with family who were going to love me and watch out for me. I was meeting people who other people would have died to have met.

“I think it was one of the most beautiful stories, being 15 and experiencing what I did.”

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Bill and Cathy Venturini estimate that more than 40 women were a part of the Ultra Blue Crew during the length of the program. (Photo courtesy of Bill and Cathy Venturini)

Mary Burau-Popowczak was one of the longest-tenured members of the Ultra Blue Crew. She was part of the team when they were doing pit stop demonstrations in malls in the early 1980s.

Her association with the team began after a conversation with Bill Venturini when she stopped at one of his gas stations in Chicago.

“I had a company car. I had worked for McCormick Spice Company, and that was my company vehicle, and I would always go over there and get my gas and oil changes,” Burau-Popowczak said. “Bill and I started talking one day, and he said, ‘You know, I think my wife would like you.’”

An invite to Bill and Cathy Venturini’s home followed, and it led to a lifelong friendship between Burau-Popowczak and Cathy Venturini.

“Cathy and I had an instant connection,” Burau-Popowczak said. “We’ve been best friends ever since.”

After some trial and error, Burau-Popowczak became one of the team’s fuelers. She can still recall the many late-night practice sessions that took place outside the garage at Bill and Cathy Venturini’s home.

“I’m sure the neighbors loved us when we’d start the motor,” Burau-Popowczak said. “We actually did the pit stops in the driveway. It was just amazing. It’s an experience you never would have thought you’d have gotten.”

Burau-Popowczak still looks back at that time of her life with fondness. Not only did she meet her best friend, but she also got to travel the country and do something very few women have ever gotten to do.

“It was the experience of a lifetime that I’ll never forget, and I would say to anybody, if they ever get the opportunity to be on a team, go for it, because there is just nothing like it,” Burau-Popowczak said.

Bill Venturini (center) poses for a photo with the Ultra Blue Crew. (Photo: Courtesy of Bill and Cathy Venturini)
Bill Venturini (center) poses for a photo with the Ultra Blue Crew. (Photo courtesy of Bill and Cathy Venturini)

Joy Petticrew was one of the last to join the Ultra Blue Crew. The sister of two-time ARCA champion Lee Raymond, Petticrew initially wanted to be a race-car driver herself.

When her family forbid her from taking a turn behind the wheel, she became her older brother’s scorer. She also helped get his car ready during race weekends. Feeling unfulfilled in that role, Petticrew’s brother encouraged her to join the Ultra Blue Crew for the 1987 season.

“My brother was like, ‘You’re here with me every weekend. Why don’t you just work for Bill? You’re already here,’” Petticrew said. “I always wanted to race myself, and that never happened. My mother said absolutely under no circumstances are you doing that. I said, ‘OK, well this is the next best thing.’

“We sat down and talked, and the next thing I knew I was on the Ultra Blue Crew.”

The Ultra Blue Crew performs a pit stop for Bill Venturini at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo courtesy of Bill and Cathy Venturini)

The experience for Petticrew, who like Burau-Popowczak was a fueler, was unlike that of any other member of the Ultra Blue Crew. Not only was she going over the wall for live pit stops during ARCA events, but she was helping another team compete against her own brother.

“I got grief all the time from the other competitors,” Petticrew said. “Why are you working for Bill when your brother is racing? What if it comes down to one and two and Lee is running second and Bill is leading and you have to do a gas-and-go pit stop, which we had to do in ’87. Bill won the race and the championship that year, and Lee finished second.

“I worked for Bill. My brother understood; this is a job that I took on with his support. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”

In all, Bill Venturini estimated more than 40 women were part of the Ultra Blue Crew during the life of the program. Each left with unbelievable stories and memories that will last a lifetime.

“I was able to be more involved and do more of what I wanted to do without actually getting in the race car and driving it. I was able to feel that adrenaline,” Petticrew said. “That’s what it was all about. To this day, that passion and drive will never leave me.”

Bill Venturini closes out his 1987 ARCA Menards Series championship season with a victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was also the last race for the Ultra Blue Crew. (Photo courtesy of Bill and Cathy Venturini)

They say all good things must come to an end. Sure enough, midway through the 1987 season, a leadership change at Permatex led to the discontinuation of the Ultra Blue Crew sponsorship.

The contract Bill and Cathy Venturini had with Permatex was in line with Permatex’s own fiscal year, meaning the program would end on July 1, 1987.

However, a timely phone call from Western Todd, an executive at Permatex’s parent company Loctite, led to a change of plans.

“For the July Permatex race [at Talladega Superspeedway], Permatex had set up a big product booth at the Hall of Fame, and the girls were going to be there for two days when we weren’t racing,” Bill Venturini said. “They were going to be showing demonstrations of how to use the product and all of that. Then we get a letter that they’re not going to renew the contract. OK, nothing we can do about it.

“Then we get a call. I think West may have called us, and he said, ‘Hey, I’m looking forward to seeing you guys. Let’s get together. I’m looking forward to see the girls at the display.’ And I say, ‘I’m sorry, the girls aren’t going to be there.’ He said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘Oh yeah, they canceled our contract. So we’re not going to be at your display.’

“The next day we got a phone call. ‘Sorry, we’re renewing your contract until the end of the year.’”

Bill, Cathy and all the pit crew members at that point realized the 1987 season would be the last year of the Ultra Blue Crew. So they made the most of it.

In the final race of the season, which took place on a cold day at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Nov. 21, 1987, the Ultra Blue Crew helped Bill Venturini win not only the race, but the ARCA championship.

More than 30 years have passed since the Ultra Blue Crew last performed a pit stop, but the doors opened by the women continue to be used in motorsports today.

“My daughter [Performance Racing Network pit reporter Wendy Venturini] has heard all of my stories, and she says, ‘Mom, let me tell you your fight was worth it, because I can go anywhere in any garage at any time,” Cathy Venturini said.

“I want people to realize that there was a time that it wasn’t cool, but now it’s OK.”


March 24, 2023 (Concord, NC) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) has announced a new addition to their 2023 driver roster; 20 year old driver Regina Sirvent. Sirvent has signed on with Venturini Motorsports for a limited schedule of races during the 2023 season.

Sirvent, from Mexico City, Mexico, has already established herself as a rising star in the world of motorsports. In 2020, she raced in the NASCAR Mexico Truck Series where she became the first Hispanic woman to win a NASCAR international race. She finished the season in the top three of the drivers championship and then made her stockcar debut through NASCAR Drive for Diversity. 

More recently, she showcased her exceptional race craft in the 2022 season in which she competed full time in NASCAR Mexico while also taking on late model races. She was able to secure three top-three finishes during her stint in late models (Hickory, Tri-County, and Florence). Her talents were best showcased at Hickory Motor Speedway after starting in the rear, she was able to fight her way up to third place. 

With dreams of becoming the first Mexican woman in the NASCAR Cup Series, Sirvent is eager to take on the ARCA Menards Series with Venturini Motorsports. “I have seen a lot of the cup drivers go through Venturini Motorsports. They will help to improve my weaknesses and develop my strengths so I can progress as a driver” explained Sirvent. 

Striving to improve in every area of her field, in addition to growing her racing career, Sirvent is simultaneously a full time student pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Technology Innovation. 

Sirvent will be taking on a challenging slate of races at a variety of tracks that will be new to her. Venturini Motorsports, a Toyota Development Program, will be providing the resources needed to excel at this level and further expand her racing resume.

“I’m excited about joining the Toyota and Venturini Motorsports family. I will be working closely with them during the weeks on their simulators and all of the nutrition, performance, mental health, and karting programs they have to offer. My goal is to strengthen all areas to be able to give my best in every race. I know that this will not be easy, it will require commitment and sacrifices, but I am ready to face every situation with the best attitude so that I can learn and grow towards my goal” remarked Sirvent.

Announcements from Venturini Motorsports regarding sponsorship and race schedule will follow at a later date. 


Series: ARCA Menards Series East

Track: Five Flags Speedway

Race: Pensacola 200

Duration: 200 laps / 100 miles

Date / TV: 3/25/2023 – 8PM ET FloRacing

Sean Hingorani’s ARCA East Series Debut: The Pensacola 200 will mark the beginning of Hingorani and Venturini Motorsports’ ARCA Menards Series East Championship battle. Hingorani made his VMS debut at the General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway earlier this month.

VMS’ Return to Five Flags Speedway: Venturini Motorsports returns to Five Flags Speedway in 2023 for the first time since 2020. On their first outing at the half-mile paved oval, VMS secured the victory with Michael Self in 2019. 

Hingorani Returns to Five Flags Speedway: While this will be Hingorani’s first time racing at Five Flags Speedway in an ARCA car, Hingorani took his first laps at the track in a Super Late Model car in 2022.

VMS Takes on Three Championships: Venturini Motorsports has announced the team will be in contention for all three ARCA Championship titles this season. They kicked off their main series season at Daytona International Speedway before heading West to Phoenix for the combined ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series West race. 

Quick Turnaround for Hingorani and VMS: With an extensive slate of races during the 2023 season, it will be a season of quick turnarounds. Following the Pensacola 200, the team will be heading over 2000 miles West for the ARCA Menards Series West race at Irwindale Speedway in California on April 1.

Hingorani in Molten Orange and Black: Hingorani will be carrying the support of GEARWRENCH for the ARCA Menards Series East Series event at Five Flags Speedway.

Crew Chief: Sean Hingorani will be working alongside Crew Chief Kevin Reed Jr. 


Sean Hingorani on his ARCA Menards Series East debut:

“I’m excited to get the East season going and fight for the championship. I learned a lot from my first race with VMS at Phoenix. Things didn’t quite go our way but the speed is there and I feel more confident. I know I have a good team behind me and the equipment needed to go far this season. Hopefully we can start the East season off strong this weekend.”

SOCIAL: Fans can interact with VMS and their drivers on social media utilizing the different outlets:

  • Facebook: VenturiniMotorsports
  • Twitter: @VenturiniMotor
  • Instagram: @VenturiniMotorsports
  • Tik Tok: @venturinimotorsports

Follow Sean on all of his social media. On Instagram: @sean.hingorani and on Twitter: @seanhingorani


Series: ARCA Menards Series/ ARCA Menards Series West

Track: Phoenix Raceway

Race: General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway

Duration: 150 laps/ 150 miles 

Date/TV: 3/10/2023 – 8pm ET


Sean Hingorani’s rookie debut: The General Tire 150 will mark the beginning of Hingorani and Venturini Motorsports’ ARCA Menards Series West championship battle. Additionally, this will be the first season in VMS’ extensive history that they will be taking on the full slate of West races.

VMS to pursue three different titles: The VMS 2023 season will mark the first in ARCA history that a team is in contention for all three of the Championship titles. VMS will be challenging for the East and West Series Championships with Sean Hingorani on top of their anticipated ARCA Menards Series season with Jesse Love. 

VMS’ Phoenix Raceway  History: Venturini Motorsports has previously secured a victory at the famous tri-oval with Chandler Smith in the 2020 season. 

Love in pursuit of another title: 18 year old Jesse Love, a two time ARCA Menards Series West Champion, will be taking on his second race of the 2023 season. Vying for the main series championship this season, Love has already established a solid foundation at the track, having managed a second place finish at Phoenix Raceway in 2022. 

Meet the VMS drivers at Phoenix: ARCA will be hosting an autograph session on race day in victory lane. The signing will commence prior to driver introductions, and will run from 5 to 5:30 pm local time. 

Conner Jones making his 2023 debut: Jones will be taking on twelve races with VMS in the 2023 season while also running a slate of races within the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He will be making his return to the Venturini Motorsports lineup at Phoenix Raceway.

New paint for Briedinger: This weekend the number 55 Toyota Camry of Briedinger will feature a new blue and green Rootly paint scheme. 


Sean Hingorani – No. 15 GEARWRENCH Toyota Camry

Regarding his VMS debut: “This is definitely going to be a learning year for us with a new team and so many new tracks that we’ll be seeing for the first time. Our goal is to be competitive and really put ourselves in a position to win the race every time out.”


Jesse Love – No. 20 JBL Toyota Camry

Regarding the Phoenix Race: “Can’t wait to get back down to the desert! I feel like I’ve had a lot of success and good runs there but never a win. I think we have a great shot to change that this weekend in my No. 20 JBL Toyota Camry.”


Toni Briedinger – No. 55 Rootly Toyota Camry

Regarding the Phoenix Race: “Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule. The track is really fun. The restarts are always five wide and it’s some aggressive driving that’s intense.” 


SOCIAL: Fans can interact with VMS and their drivers on social media utilizing the different outlets:

  • Facebook:VenturiniMotorsports
  • Twitter:@VenturiniMotor
  • Instagram:@VenturiniMotorsports
  • Tik Tok:@venturinimotorsports


Series: ARCA Menards Series

Track: Daytona International Speedway

Race: Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway

Duration: 80 laps / 200 miles

Date / TV: 2/18/2023 – 1:30PM ET FS1


A Triumphant history at Daytona: Venturini Motorsports (VMS) is returning to Daytona International Speedway having won the last five (5) consecutive races making a total of six (6) victories at the iconic track for the team. In 2020 VMS also procured the win on the Daytona infield road course with Michael Self. The team has secured the pole position award at Daytona a total of seven times with the first being achieved by team owner, Bill Venturini. 

Venturini Motorsports’ (VMS) six (6) ARCA Menards Series (ARCA) victories at Daytona include:

  • 2016 – John Wes Townley
  • 2018 – Michael Self
  • 2019 – Harrison Burton
  • 2020 – Michael Self
  • 2021 – Corey Heim
  • 2022 – Corey Heim

Kicking off a championship battle: The 2023 season will be the first in which Jesse Love is age eligible to take on superspeedways and subsequently, the ARCA Menards Series Championship. Having previously won the ARCA West series championship two separate times, Love is looking to add to his collection of championship titles.

Venturini Motorsports breaking records at Daytona: Venturini Motorsports celebrated their 80th win in ARCA at Daytona last year securing the record of winningest team in history of the series. Closing out the 2022 season, they extended the record with follow up victories at Lucas Oil Raceway, the Illinois State Fairgrounds, and Kansas Speedway. 

Jesse Love – No. 20 Yahoo Toyota Camry

Regarding the Daytona Race: “I feel great going into Daytona. I’ve put a lot of work into my craft in these last few months in general. I have especially focused on learning about superspeedways. We just need to go do our job and execute and that product of that should be a great result.”

Gus Dean – No. 25 JBL – Dean Custom Air Toyota Camry

Regarding the Daytona Race: “I am super excited about Daytona this weekend. We showcased a lot of speed in our No. 25 JBL  Dean Custom Air Toyota Camry during the test and I look forward to the opportunity to keep the Venturini Motorsports Daytona win streak alive on Saturday afternoon.”

Amber Balcaen  No.15 ICON Toyota Camry

Regarding the Daytona race: “I’m really excited given how well the test went. Bringing that momentum into this weekend gives me confidence knowing we have a fast car. I’m just grateful to be racing at the world center of racing.”

Toni Breidinger – No. 55 FP Movement Toyota Camry 

Regarding the Daytona race: “I’m hyped to be back at Daytona racing with Venturini Motorsports. I’ve been looking forward to this since last season ended. It will be great to see what progress we have made as a team.”

Crew Chiefs: VMS will be utilizing Dave Leiner (No. 15), Shannon Rursch (No. 20), Kevin Reed Jr. (No. 25), and Cayden Lapcevich (No. 55).

SOCIAL: Fans can interact with VMS and their drivers on social media utilizing the different outlets:

  • Facebook:VenturiniMotorsports
  • Twitter:@VenturiniMotor
  • Instagram:@VenturiniMotorsports
  • Tik Tok:@venturinimotorsports


February 15, 2023 (Concord, NC) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) and young man Sean Hingorani are heading West to take on the ARCA West Series Championship. Hingorani and VMS, the winningest team in ARCA history, will now be collectively battling for both the ARCA East Series Championship and ARCA West Series Championship. Correspondingly, VMS is in contention for all three ARCA series championship titles, an unprecedented endeavor for any team. 

In addition to vying for both the ARCA East and West Series championships, Hingorani will be  taking on four ARCA Main races (Phoenix, Berlin, Mid Ohio, Toledo).

“This is definitely going to be a learning year for us with a new team and so many new tracks that we’ll be seeing for the first time” proclaims Hingorani. “Our goal is to be competitive and really put ourselves in a position to win the race every time out. Ultimately I want to keep progressing in my career and win championships! I’m confident running with VMS and Toyota is going to give me a real shot of reaching these goals in 2023 and beyond.”

Team owner Billy Venturini on the expansion of Hingorani’s 2023 race schedule, “Sean has a sizable schedule for this year. Our goal is to make the most out of it and compete for wins. We’re excited to help him grow as a driver so he can reach the top levels of NASCAR.” 

2023, a paramount season for Venturini Motorsports, marks the first season in which the team has challenged for the ARCA West Series Championship. Furthermore, this makes Venturini Motorsports the first team in ARCA history to take on all three championships in a single season. 

“I’m looking forward to going out west and traveling to cities I’m not as familiar with” remarks Billy Venturini. “I’ve been in racing for 41 years so to be able to spice it up with new variety is a welcome change for me and my team.” 

Hingorani describes the decision to take on this challenging race schedule as an opportunity to solidify an indispensable racing foundation for a developing driver. “I feel at home on the racetrack, so it’s always been my goal to race as much as possible. Running in the ARCA East, West, and Main series will help me see a wide range of tracks and get a lot of time in the seat which will ultimately strengthen my racecraft.”

Venturini Motorsports will be collaborating with Jerry Pitts Racing throughout the 2023 West season. 

“I have known Jerry for a long time and I have a lot of trust in him,” explains Billy Venturini. “On top of that, it’s always fun when you can work with old friends to achieve goals. I just want to thank him for helping to make this west venture possible with both VMS and Jerry Pitts Racing.” 

Pitts has shared his enthusiasm regarding this new challenge. “I’m looking forward to being able to collaborate with Venturini Motorsports on the ARCA West project with Billy and the team.” 

Hingorani is eager to rise to the challenge of his enhanced 2023 race slate and is set to make his VMS debut at Phoenix Raceway on March 10 for the combined ARCA Menards and ARCA West Series race. The race will be viewable on FS2 and will commence at 8pm EST. Hingorani’s East season will kick off at Five Flags Speedway on March 25 at 8pm and will be viewable via FloRacing.


CONCORD, N.C.- Two-time ARCA Menards Series winner Gus Dean is returning to the potent Venturini
Motorsports for a limited schedule this season beginning with the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International
Speedway on February 18, 2023.

Dean, 28, returns to Concord, N.C.-based team after a four-race schedule which resulted in four top-five
finishes highlighted with a track-best fifth place finish at Daytona and a season-high fourth-place effort at
Michigan International Speedway.

From February to August, the Bluffton, S.C. native had an average finish of 4.8.
A competitor in the ARCA Menards Series since 2016, the veteran racer returns to the “World Center of
Racing” for a seventh time focused on delivering Venturini Motorsports their sixth consecutive ARCA triumph at
the 2.5-mile superspeedway aboard the team’s flagship No. 25 Toyota Camry.

Dean scored his first career ARCA Menards Series victory in just his second start at Talladega (Ala.)
Superspeedway in 2016 but had been cursed at Daytona over a period of five previous races until he returned
to the track on the ARCA scene in 2022 where he qualified second and recovered from being collected in a
mid-race incident to collect his then 14th career ARCA top-five finish.

“I am pumped up about returning to Venturini Motorsports in 2023,” said Dean. “I am looking forward to building
on the success we achieved last season and I strongly believe this season we can turn our success into
checkered flags and get ourselves a win or two throughout the year.”

Last month, Dean said he wheeled the best superspeedway car of his career during the annual preseason
ARCA testing at the iconic race track which saw the No. 25 Toyota Camry run one of the fastest laps of the
weekend and giving the Kevin Reed Jr.-led team momentum leaning into the first of 20 races on the 2023

“I can’t begin to describe how fast our Toyota Camry was during the test last month,” added Dean. “It was really
fast every single run. We just made it better and better throughout the two day test and I left the track knowing
it’s the best superspeedway car I have ever had. I hope we are able to build on the success and our notes
during the event weekend and I can keep the Venturini Motorsports’ steak alive at Daytona and capture my
third but biggest win of my ARCA career.”

Venturini Motorsports’ Billy Venturini says having a veteran like Dean back in the team’s lineup this season is

“I feel really positive about Gus at Daytona,” said Venturini. “He is the most experienced of all the drivers on our
roster. I feel like he can bring a veteran calmness to the team. Without a doubt, he should be able to contend
for the win and improve the team as a whole with his leadership.

“Looking past Daytona, it’s just great to have him back. He will contend to win races beyond Daytona with us in
2023 and we look forward at that opportunity with him in our No. 25 Toyota Camry.”

Added Dean, “the Venturini Motorsports team really welcomed me with open arms last season and they
continued to make me feel like I was a member of their family. That is important to me. Billy, Mr. Bill and Mrs.
Cathy (Venturini) and the entire Venturini Motorsports team believe in me and my abilities and as a race car
driver there is no better feeling than that.

“I am ready for Daytona and cannot wait to get there.”

In addition to Daytona, Dean will return to ARCA competition with Venturini Motorsports at Talladega (Ala.)
Superspeedway in April, Michigan International Speedway in August and Salem (Ind.) Speedway in

Additional ARCA races with Venturini Motorsports could be added as the season progresses.
Dean, a fan favorite is poised to have a busy 2023 season between ARCA, Late Models, Mud Truck Racing
and a hopeful sporadic appearance or two in one of NASCAR’s National Series.

“With no championship on the line for me this season, it’s about having fun,” sounded Dean. “Whether that’s
competing with Venturini Motorsports in ARCA, DLP Motorsports in Late Model competition or the other racing
endeavors we have planned for this season. Of course, the urge to still compete full-time is there, but it takes
marketing partners and a lot of financial commitment to make it happen.

“Until we can hopefully put ourselves back into that position again, we’ll take the path that has been laid out
before me and make the most of it. Venturini Motorsports is going for an unprecedented sixth straight ARCA
victory at Daytona and I want to be that driver that gets it done for them!”

Before Dean buckles in at Daytona, he will have a busy week leading up to the 2023 ARCA season opener, as
he’ll also be competing at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in the highly contested World Series of Asphalt driving
a Pro Late Model for DLP Motorsports.

“It means everything to us to have Gus represent DLP Motorsports,” said David “Buggy” Pletcher, owner of
DLP Motorsports. “Not only is Gus a great person but he is a talented driver. It’s good to have a driver of his
caliber with all the experience he has for the other younger drivers to bounce ideas and such off each other.

“We can definitely win with him down there. He has come a long way and is considered a veteran now. He will
be an asset to us as a driver but also as a teammate for our other DLP Motorsports driver Gavan (Boschele).
Hopefully, we have the right combination that will allow him to continue to show his abilities.”

For more on Gus Dean, please visit, like him on Facebook (Gus Dean Racing) and follow him
on Twitter (@GusDean).


January 20, 2023 (Concord, NC) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) has announced another addition to their 2023 roster: 21 year old Dean Thompson, from Anaheim, California. Thompson is set to take on a program of five races with VMS in the 2023 season; Kansas Speedway (May), Charlotte Motor Speedway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Pocono Raceway, and Phoenix Raceway (ARCA-W).

“I’m super stoked to continue my partnership with Toyota by signing with Billy and Venturini Motorsports. They have established themselves as the pinnacle of ARCA and contenders to win at every race they enter. I know we will be competing for wins and I can’t wait to get started,” explained Thompson. 

Thompson’s racing career has only continued to gain momentum as he has worked his way through the various series. He distinguished himself throughout his successful late model racing career. The season of 2020 saw Thompson grasp six wins and garner a collection of 14 top five finishes. After a string of successes and dominating the season, Thompson procured his first Irwindale Speedway Late Model Championship. Augmenting his accomplishments, Thompson fought his way to the championship title again in 2021. 

The 2021 season also marked Thompson’s ARCA debut with seven ARCA West Series races. Additionally, he took on a race in the ARCA Main Series where he secured a top ten finish at Kansas Speedway. Having demonstrated his quick growth as a driver as well as his adaptability, Thompson has set himself up to advance quickly through the ranks. 

In his most recent season, Thompson completed a full slate of races in the NASCAR Truck Series. “My goals are to always be up front and win races. My time in the truck series has taught me so much about the tracks I’ll be racing at this year with VMS so I know that I’ll be able to accomplish these goals with the team,” asserted Thompson. 

Thompson joins Venturini Motorsports this season with a desire to sharpen his skills and prepare to perform at the highest levels of NASCAR. His strong racing resume and ingenuity will ensure a successful run in the ARCA Menards Series with VMS. As an experienced driver working with the most successful team in the history of the series, Thompson will have every resource needed to further his career. In combination with his ARCA schedule, Thompson will also be taking on a full season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. 

The Venturini Motorsports team have expressed their enthusiasm over their most recently signed talent. “Dean will be a strong addition to the program. He has experience out West and in truck which will make him tough to beat. I expect him to be contending for wins,” stated team owner Billy Venturini.

Thompson will make his VMS debut at Kansas Speedway on May 6. The race will be viewable on FS1 and the Fox Sports App at 2pm ET.


January 18, 2023 (Concord, NC) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) welcomes 18 year old Toyota Development Driver (TD2), Isabella Robusto, to their upcoming 2023 team roster. 

Making her ARCA debut this season, Robusto has already distinguished herself in the racing world. In 2018 she became the first female in a legends car to win a national qualifier. Hailing from Fort Mill, South Carolina, Robusto has been maximizing her time in the TD2 program. During the 2022 season she had 37 race starts of which 30 were top 10 finishes. 

Robusto’s goals came to fruition upon achieving her first late model wins at Tri-County Motor Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway in 2022. Throughout the 2022 season Robusto demonstrated her consistency and exquisite race craft. Her talent was showcased at the South Carolina 400 at Florence Motor Speedway, where she executed a masterclass performance fighting from 30th place up to finish in 3rd. 

“I’m excited to climb the NASCAR ladder with VMS this season in the ARCA car for the first time,” exclaimed Robusto. “Toyota has helped me grow so much in the past year. From winning my first late model race with Lee Faulk Racing to just growing my racing resume.”

Robusto managed to graduate high school early in order to prioritize her racing career. As a lifelong athlete who has proven herself across multiple sports, Robusto dreams of making it to the NASCAR Cup Series. Given her relentless efforts to excel and having spent her free time during the 2022 season in the garage working alongside her team, she also plans on pursuing an engineering degree. 

Taking on a challenging slate of 50 different events across five different racing series in 2023, Robusto demonstrates her desire to quickly advance in the world of motorsport. Discussing her upcoming season Robusto remarked “I’m super excited to learn as much as I can and prove myself in the next levels.”

Prepared to help develop Robusto’s talent, Venturini Motorsports has a long and triumphant record in the series. As a Toyota Racing Development’s (TRD) official driver development program, VMS offers the resources and expertise to guide Robusto through her first ARCA season.

“We are thrilled to have Isabella at VMS. She has been in the TD2 program for a few years and we have tested with her at the TRD combine test. She showed very well and we’re expecting her to have a solid debut. I’m looking forward to working with her for years to come,” remarked team owner, Billy Venturini. 

Follow Isabella on her social media: @isabellarobusto55



January 18, 2023 (Concord, NC) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) have made an addition to their formidable driver roster for the upcoming 2023 season: 16 year old rookie, Sean Hingorani, who will be taking on the full 2023 ARCA Menards East Series calendar. 

In addition to challenging for the ARCA East Series championship, Hingorani is set to run four ARCA Main races (Phoenix, Berlin, Mid Ohio, Toledo) and four ARCA West races (Irwindale, The Bullring at Las Vegas, Madera, and Phoenix) with Venturini Motorsports.

Hingorani, from Newport Beach, California, revealed himself to be a developing talent, showcasing his skills in a variety of series early in his career. He made his ARCA Menards West Series debut at Evergreen in 2022. 

His early racing career was rooted in the Southwest where he competed within the Legends division starting at the age of 14. Hingorani was able to collect his first race wins prior to securing the Silver State Road Course Championship. Wrapping up a notable run of races in 2022, Hingorani balanced both Pro Late races and Super Late races conjointly with a stint in the ARCA West Series. 

“Last year we took every chance we could to go racing,” commented Hingorani “It was awesome to pick up wins across quite a few different divisions. We knew it was really important to get in as much seat time as possible. Having a strong team and being in the car a lot has been really crucial in preparing to get to the next level. 

I’m beyond thrilled for the opportunity to run ARCA East and take the next step in my career to go racing with such a strong team as Venturini Motorsports and Toyota.”

In 2022, Hingorani competed in five races within the West Series, which provided essential preparation and a foundation for competing towards a championship title in the ARCA East Series under VMS’ Toyota Racing Development banner in 2023. 

In signing on with VMS, Hingorani will be working closely with Billy Venturini, who has demonstrated a track record of identifying and refining young talent. 

“We are really looking forward to having Sean as part of our Venturini Motorsports and Toyota team. He is a young, up and coming talent and we’re excited to see him grow throughout the program and help him prepare to  advance to the highest levels of NASCAR.”

Hingorani is set to pilot the No. 15 Toyota Camry and will carry the support of GEARWRENCH during the 2023 ARCA season with additional sponsorship to be announced.

“Being a part of such a legendary ARCA program is an honor and I couldn’t possibly be more excited to work with such a talented group of individuals. Venturini Motorsports and TRD make Champions! Let’s go win!” 

Hingorani will make his debut with Venturini Motorsports at Phoenix Raceway on March 10 for the combined ARCA Menards and ARCA West race before shifting focus to the full ARCA East slate and championship battle. Hingorani’s East season is set to commence at Five Flags Speedway on March 25 at 8pm and will be viewable via FloRacing.