FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Owner and driver Willie Mullins has established a partnership with veteran ARCA Racing Series team owners Andy Belmont and Darrell Basham for the upcoming Lucas Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series event at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Belmont has been a staple in the ARCA Racing Series for many years, as a driver and as a car owner. The Pennsylvania native made his first ARCA start at Michigan Int’l Speedway in 1994. He would eventually form his own team, with driver Chad McCumbee finding victory lane in his No. 1 Ford in 2011 en route to the Bill France Four Crown title.
He has since scaled back his racing operations, but will assist Mullins Racing with their Daytona effort in the coming weeks.
“Andy (Belmont) has been a long-time friend and mentor in my racing career,” Mullins said. “I bought parts from him when I built my first ARCA car, and it has just built from there. I can’t imagine trusting anyone more than him, to call the race for me.”
Joining Belmont will be Basham, who has been a part of the ARCA Racing Series since 1994. Thanks to a working relationship with Basham, Mullins will drive the No. 34 that Basham has been running for years instead of the No. 1 that Mullins Racing has used in the past. Using the No. 34 means that Mullins has a strong chance of being locked into the field via owner points.
“When it was brought up about running the No. 34, I was pretty excited,” Mullins said. “ I remember watching ARCA on TV with my dad when I was younger, and seeing Darrell race. I have always been a fan, and this is an honor to have the No. 34 on the side of my car.”
Last year Mullins did not participate in the Lucas Oil 200 as a driver, but he did compete as a team owner. Fielding a car for J.J. Pack, the team started 40th and finished 36th after an oil line failure caused the car to catch fire on the backstretch at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Should Mullins qualify for the Lucas Oil 200, it will be his first career start at Daytona Int’l Speedway in ARCA competition and his first ARCA start since 2012 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J.