Leilani did a great job. She gave great feedback and could feel the changes we made to the car. Her enthusiasm was great and she kept the team pumped up all weekend. Parker (Kligerman) was the same way - he was just glad to have the opportunity to drive the car and that outlook carries over to the team," added Mark, "Having NextEra Energy on board for the test was great. We learned so much about what their company is doing and also the things that we all need to do to not only save energy but to help our environment. Leilani is a great ambassador for Nextera and the green movement. Hopefully we can help educate the race fans about what we need to do to help save our environment."
"Throughout the weekend we tried a lot of different set ups for the car and by Sunday afternoon, Mark Gibson and the team had really figured out what package we needed under the car," said Leilani, "They are great guys and they gave me a great car to drive. It's so much fun being out there in quality equipment. I had a lot of fun drafting with Danica Patrick and Bobby Gerhart, and that's a pretty good crowd to be hanging with out there. We are really happy with our test and very hopeful we can come back for the race in February," said Leilani, "I can't thank NextEra Energy Resources enough for giving us the opportunity to test Daytona, it was incredibly valuable to us as a team to kick off the 2010 racing season with a successful test."
Her name is Leilani Münter, and if you're not familiar with her, I predict you will be soon.
Her time in the cockpit has been limited by recent sponsorship woes, but Münter has shown flashes of brilliance in the past. In 2007, she landed a ride in the Indy Lights Series and qualified fifth for her debut race at Kentucky Motor Speedway, where she turned the fifth fastest lap of the race at 192.399 mph. In 2006, she set a new stock car record at Texas Motor Speedway, scoring the highest-ever finish for a female driver in the history of the racetrack. Excerpts from InsiderRacingNews.com
Münter was 28th quick of 63 ARCA cars testing at Daytona International Speedway Saturday with a speed of 180.11 mph. zzzz
"We tried a few different shock packages today and the car is really comfortable. It drafts well but isn't as fast on it's own. Last year the car qualified 30th and finished 5th, so it's obviously good in the draft, but we just need to find some more speed out of the car on single car runs," said Leilani, "Mark is making some changes to the car for tomorrow, we found some things at the end of the day that could be slowing us down so we hope to pick up some positions. I had an absolute blast out there." zzzz
A moment that stands out from Saturday practice from Münter, "We were a pack of cars and it was myself and Danica leading the group, I thought it was kind of cool because I had never drafted with another female driver at Daytona and it just felt like, well... like ladies are making some progress in racing. Things are changing."
Leilani also receive a very special visitor in her garage stall on Saturday afternoon when NASCAR President Mike Helton stopped by. "I was very honored that he came by to talk to me," said Leilani, "That means a lot to drivers like me trying to make it to the next level." SPEED TV Video: ARCA Drafting Saturday
(At time 2:03, Leilani is the lead car being followed by #88 Danica Patrick and #51 James Buescher)