In a pretty good example of Life imitating art, A relatively rookie driver is starting to make waves away from the usual comfort of a television studio and on the racetracks of the 2023 ARCA series. That rookie driver is already famous, though not ( yet) for his performances on the track but for his performances on screen.
That driver is Frankie Muniz, who is probably getting a little tired of people focussing on his past rather than his present and future but an explanation is warranted! for those who are either new to NASCAR or frankly new to television!
Who is Frankie Muniz
Though most people may know him from the Fox Sit com ‘Malcom in the Middle’ his carreer also spanned into film with movies like Agent Cody Banks ( ask your kids) and its sequel as well as playing Buddy Holly in the Film Walk Hard – the Dewy Cox Story and most recently in the Black String
He has, side from the title role in Malcolm in the middle, also appeared in shows like New Amsterdam and the Rookie.
However, as we are pretty poor at covering popular culture, it is the racing side that we will take a more in depth look at here.
Frankie Muniz Racing
Muniz has long been associated with racing and even drove the pace car for the 2001 Daytona 500, which is famous for all the wrong reasons. Although NASCAR is a relatively new endeavour he has raced in pro-celebrity races since 2004 and has raced in Formula BMW, Champ Car Atlantic.
His Stock car debut was in 2021 in Late Models, and it took a further 2 years to get a full time driving gig in 2023 with Rette Jones Racing. Where he currently drives, pretty well so far, the No.30 Ford Mustang.
So rather than make a movie or a show about racing Frankie has started his own real life Days of Thunder journey and we will take a look at how that is going after his first race below and clearly Frankie is not aiming for the middle this time!
First Arca Menards Racing at Daytona
Starting a season at the biggest race of the year on one of the most demanding tracks has to be a challenge no matter what the series. Add to that the extra attention from already being famous, and the pressure ( and eyes) that come with that and a very respectable 11th place is a pretty solid debut for a rookie season. As Frankie said himself
“We just missed a top-10 finish and while that was a huge bummer. An 11th-place finish to start my rookie season in ARCA Menards Series competition isn’t bad at all.”Frankie Muniz
Breaking the top ten
We wrote that subheading as we have a feeling that the next race ( tomorrow as we write this) is going to make out title of Frankie in Front more relevant, After a very solid 11th place we jsut have a feeling with both the talent of the driver and the fact that the team seem to have got the car firing right from the start and that 11th place, as good as it is, it going to be improved on this weekend.
If it isn’t, well they there is the Cup and Xfinity races on the Saturday and Sunday to pick up some tips from. However as this is almost a home race there is certainly more than enough motivation to try to break into that top ten
“When you race in your own backyard, you certainly want to put on a show,” added Muniz. “We have a lot of local support, not to mention some local marketing partners who jumped on board for this race, plus the nonstop support from the grandstands too.”
Those marketing partners include the Hot Chick and The Republic bank of arizona.
*Update March 10th 2023, As hopeless as we are at predicting results of any sport including motor racing and NASCAR, we actually called this one correct! The Hot Chick Ford with Frankie Muniz at the wheel not only got his first top ten in only his second full time ARCA Menards start, he smashed it with a 6th place finish.
11th in the first race, 6th in the second the General tire 150, if we follow the rule of 5 then its a first place next race surely! We are certainly going to watch For Frankie Muniz breaking into the top 5 in the next race the General tire 200 at Talladega on April 22.
The Phoenix Race -The General Tire 150.
The General Tire 150 (150 laps | 150 miles) is the second of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule.
Practice begins Fri., Mar. 10 with a fifty-minute session from 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Group qualifying is set to follow at 4:00 p.m.
The field will take the green flag shortly after 6:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 2 (FS2) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (XM channel 391 | online channel 981) handling the radio waves. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
Rette Jones Racing.
Based in Mooresville, North Carolina, Rette Jones Racing (RJR) was founded in 2015 and plans to build a successful racing operation built around the fundamentals of hard work and a never-give-up attitude.
Owned by racers Terry Jones and Mark Rette, RJR plans to field a full-time entry in 2023 in the ARCA Menards Series, while also planning to field vehicles in the ARCA Menards Series East respectively.
So to harp back to our original (meaning first not for its originality) about Frankie in Front rather than Malcolm in the Middle the team have not quite got their just yet, but 16th to 11th in a debut at Daytona is something to be proud of, and we have that sneaking suspicion that it will be breaking that top ten if not this weekend, but it’s clearly coming soon.