Duno Set to Make Short Track Racing Debut at Salem Speedway 2011 is a year of new beginnings for Milka Duno and her Sheltra Motorsports team, and this weekend will be no different as Duno is set to make her first-career short track start in Sunday afternoon's Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200. Duno will pilot her No. 63 CITGO SUPERGARD Dodge to her short track debut at one of the most difficult tracks on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards circuit - Salem Speedway.
Salem's 0.555-mile oval is sure to present a challenge as it is a track that is difficult for veterans and rookies alike. To say the renowned speedway has a lot of character doesn't even begin to describe what racing at Salem is like. With a rough, bumpy surface to go along with the fast, unforgiving high-banks, Salem Speedway has challenged some of the most legendary names in auto racing and Milka Duno is ready to add her name to that list.
"This will be my first race on a short track and it will definitely be a challenge," said Duno. "We were able to test there for half a day last week and I learned as much as possible about the track during that short time. The team has a lot of experience and has had success at Salem so I'll be working as hard as possible to learn all that I can from them and I hope that it all translates to a good result for us at a difficult track."
While Duno will be making her first start at Salem, she is prepared for the challenge as she and her Sheltra Motorsports team tested at the high-banked oval last week. Duno's team owner, 2010 ARCA Racing Series champion, along with her spotter, "Pancho" Carter, an accomplished IndyCar and NASCAR veteran who raced sprints and midgets at Salem, helped Duno to learn and negotiate the half-mile track during the test. The results left her Sheltra Motorsports team confident going into Sunday's 200-lap event.
"Everyone at Sheltra Motorsports really likes short-track racing," said Crew Chief Jon Wolfe. "We had a lot of success on the short tracks last year and hope to continue that with Milka. We know it is a learning curve for her. We had a really good test at Salem last week; she learned a lot. It's going to be a little bit tough for her at first to get used to the high banks of Salem and the way the track is so rough, but we really expect to do well and for her to continue learning. The first half of the season will be about her learning those tracks and really being able to go back the second half of the season and have really strong performances."
Duno is slated to make her short track debut in race No. 3 on the ARCA Racing Series schedule on Sunday, May 1 for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200. The green flag will drop for 200 fast-paced laps at 2:15 p.m. EST with live timing and scoring on ARCARacing.com.