LOS ANGELES – official release — Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports photo — RAB Racing has signed Milka Duno to compete in select races during the remainder of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season.
Duno will become the first Hispanic female driver in history to compete in a NASCAR national series in the United States. Veteran crew chief Chris Rice will helm Duno’s NNS effort in the No. 29 Toyota for RAB Racing. Exactly which races Duno will compete in have not been announced.
Duno has competed in multiple racing series, earning eight race wins in the highest classes (Prototype) in the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the highest finish ever by a female driver (second) in the 24 Hours at Daytona. When she won the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Grand Prix of Miami she became the first woman in history to win a major international race in the United States.
In 2007, Duno was also the first Hispanic female driver to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500. Duno competed in the Indianapolis 500 for three consecutive seasons and in the IndyCar Series for four consecutive seasons – running partial schedules in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and a full schedule in 2010.
In making her transition to stock car racing and her ultimate entry into NASCAR Duno has been competing in the ARCA Racing Series (ARCA) for the past three seasons. In 2011 and 2012 she competed in partial schedules and in her first full ARCA season in 2013, competing with Venturini Motorsports, she finished the season seventh in the championship standings.
“I’m really very excited and honored to enter into NASCAR and the Nationwide Series,” said Duno. “It has always been a goal and dream of mine to compete in NASCAR and I worked very hard in ARCA to turn this goal into a reality. I always strive to challenge myself as a driver and I’ve been fortunate to compete in many types of racing – and while the competition is always my number one focus – I am very proud of the history that I have made as a female driver, and the Hispanic sports history as well, that has been made along the way.
“NASCAR is the most competitive and popular racing series in the USA and I’m very proud to enter the series with RAB Racing and I look forward to competing with them in their No. 29 Toyota Camry,” Duno said.
“We’ve watched Milka develop in the ARCA Racing Series and feel she is prepared for the next step in her stock car racing career,” said RAB Racing owner Robby Benton. “I think that working together with Chris Rice, Milka can find a home in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. She has a very strong fan base and we hope we can attract them to follow her in her NASCAR endeavors. Milka is very intelligent and educated and we look forward to working with her.”