Fresh off his latest victory in the Stadium Super Truck Series last weekend in Toronto, Gavin Harlien trades wheels this week to make his second career ARCA Menards Series start driving for Venturini Motorsports in tomorrow night’s Fans with Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway.
Harlien, 19, making the transition from off-road truck racing to stock cars, turned in a solid eighth-place performance last month during his ARCA debut.
Looking to build off his early success, the former X-Games competitor will return to the seat of VMS’ No.55 Autism Awareness Toyota at Iowa
“I have been eager to get back in the car ever since the checkered flag waved at Gateway,” said the Phoenix, AZ native. “Now that I have one ARCA race under my belt, I’m definitely feeling more confident heading into Iowa. I was able to get those first race nerves out of the way and run a clean race in the top 10. My goal was to get the car to the finish and learn as much as I can. Now that I’ve done that, I plan on being more aggressive in my last two races this season.
“My expectations going into my second start are to do exactly what I did last race as far as staying out of trouble, but I want to pick up some speed this time and hopefully finish in the top 5. I know I still have a lot more to learn, but I also know I’ve got some more speed in me so I plan on showing that on Friday night.”
Harlien will join a formidable group of VMS teammates which include multiple series race winners, Michael Self, Chandler Smith and Christian Eckes in Iowa.
VMS has dominated ARCA series competition thus far winning eight of the first thirteen events in 2019. Fast to start each race, VMS has claimed an unprecedented 12 General Tire Pole Awards to start the season, only missing out on the honors during the third race of the season at Salem Speedway,
Rooted in the world of off-road truck racing since the age of 11, Harlien has gone onto achieve notoriety and success in the sport throughout his young career. Displaying talent behind the wheel early on, he captured rookie of the year honors in the Lucas Oil Off Road Series' Modified Kart Class in 2012 and again after moving up in rank driving in the series' Pro Lite Truck division in 2014. During his time driving on the Lucas Oil Off-Road tour he posted 10 victories and 42 podium finishes.
Currently competing for a championship in Robby Gordon's Stadium Super Truck (SST) Series, Harlien's career spans the globe - racing multiple disciplines, series' and events on dirt including SST, Lucas Oil Off Road, The Off Road Championship, Red Bull Global Rally Cross, the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals and Sprint Cars. Over the last two seasons, the racer with a flair for the extreme, has claimed seven victories, 22 podium finishes and two top qualifying awards competing in his off-road truck.
Balancing life with sport, Harlien is currently studying Business at The University of Arizona. The honors student was awarded the Dean and Wildcat Scholarships in Academics and will graduate in 2021.
Follow Gavin Harlien on social media by visiting @Gavin_Harlien on Twitter and @Gavin_Harlien on Instagram.
Practice at Iowa Speedway is scheduled for 12:45 pm ET/11:45 am CT with General Tire Pole Qualifying to follow at 4:45 pm ET/3:45 pm CT and the Fans with Benefits 150 to close the night at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT. The race will be televised live flag to flag on MAVTV.