Since scoring their fifth-place finish at Michigan International Speedway in early August, the No. 30 Rette Jones Racing team has struggled to keep the consistency on track, including the most recent ARCA race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on September 14.
Muniz impressed in his Thunder Valley debut, but a restart accordion effect resulted in terminal damage to the No. 30 Ford | Rette Jones Racing Ford Mustang and a frustrating 23rd-place finish.
Heading to the famed Southern Indiana short track this weekend, Muniz and his Mooresville, N.C.-based team hope to find the bright light at the end of the tunnel and return to top-10 status under the lights Saturday night.
“We have two races left in the season, and I am determined to go to Salem this weekend and put an exclamation point on our finish,” said Muniz. “There are no words to describe what the last two months have been like for our Rette Jones Racing team.
“Without question, our No. 30 Ford | Rette Jones Racing Fords have had incredible speed, but for one reason or another, we have not been able to secure the finishes we deserved. Bristol really looked good for our Rette Jones Racing team, but trouble found us again, and we had nothing to show for our performance.
“This weekend, I turn to Salem Speedway, another new track during my rookie ARCA Menards Series season, and hope we’re able to put an end to this black cloud and earn a strong finish.”
The Scottsdale, Ariz. native is also focused on points. With his result at Bristol, Muniz remains fourth in points and sits 19 points behind fellow rookie Christian Rose.
A strong finish on Saturday night will assist him in reclaiming the points he has recently lost.
“We’re chasing more than a good finish on Saturday night at Salem,” added Muniz. “We are chasing points. I know the championship is impossible, but finishing third in points certainly is, and that is what we are fighting for over the next two weeks.”
For the ninth time this season, Muniz and Rette Jones Racing will display the Ford colors for the 19th ARCA Menards Series race of the season.
Former ARCA championship-winning crew chief and co-owner Mark Rette has been impressed with Muniz’s performances in the first 18 races of the year despite some heartache finishes. He looks forward to seeing him strengthen his craft in his Salem Speedway debut on September 30.
“The last seven or so races for us have been tough because we certainly have had the speed but lacked the results we know we were capable of,” offered Rette. “Frankie has stepped up to the plate and continued to give more than 100 percent behind the wheel – but we’ve just had racing circumstances that have hindered us a little.
“We made great progress at Bristol, and even though we continue to get knocked down, we are standing up just as fast and ready to fight again on Saturday night at Salem. Even though Salem, like Bristol, can tend to be a handful for rookies, I think Frankie will rise above that challenge and contend for a strong finish.”
Entering Salem, Muniz sits fourth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 19 points behind third-place runner Christian Rose and 42 points behind second-place runner Andrés Pérez de Lara.
He sits 173 markers behind championship leader Jesse Love with two races remaining.
Rette Jones Racing stands a respectable seventh in the ARCA Menards Series championship owner standings.
Since 2023, Muniz has 18 ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit, with a career-best finish of fifth at Michigan International Speedway in August 2023. In all, Muniz has delivered one top-five and nine top-10 finishes. He also maintains an average finishing position of 11.2 in his inaugural year of stock car competition.
The Atlas 200 (200 laps | 106.6 miles) is the 19th of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule in the 71st consecutive ARCA season. Practice begins Saturday, September 30 from 3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying in a timed session will begin a short time later at 5:15 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 2 (FS2) and streaming on FloRacing. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
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