Amber Balcaen joins Venturini Motorsports for part-time ARCA season
Amber Balcaen will make her debut with top-team Venturini Motorsports at the upcoming Daytona ARCA Menards season opener, in what will be a part-time program for her second season in the series.
After announcing Toni Breidinger for a part time schedule in 2023, ARCA Menards top team Venturini Motorsports has confirmed it will field Canadian racer Amber Balcaen, also in a part time campaign. Balcaen will drive the #15 Toyota Camry at Daytona, Talladega, plus more races to be announced. “I’ve watched Venturini Motorsports dominate the ARCA Menards series for years and it’s been a dream of mine for a long time to drive for VMS” - said Balcaen. “To say I’m excited to drive for a hugely winning team is an understatement! I’m thrilled knowing I’ll be in a fast car this season!” The third-generation driver from Winnipeg, Canada, completed her first full season in ARCA in 2022, conquering six top ten finishes - with a personal best of seventh at Charlotte. She finished her rookie season in seventh place in the drivers' standings, impressing for her performances. Now with experience on most racetracks, Balcaen is looking forward to continuing her progression and climbing the NASCAR ladder up to the main series. “Having raced Daytona last year, and knowing the track record that Venturini Motorsports has at superspeedways, I’m very confident going into Daytona knowing we have a real shot to be at the front of the pack", she explained. "My goal is to earn my ARCA career best finish and put the No. 15 Icon Direct VMS car on the podium!” Balcaen has vast experience in motorsports, having started aged 10 before moving up the ranks of sprint cars and becoming the first female driver to win in a dirt track racing championship in Manitoba. She would join the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program in 2016, when she contested the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. A victory at Motor-Mile Speedway resulted in Amber becoming the first female Canadian driver to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race in the US. She made her K&N Pro Series debut in 2017 with a one-off appearance at New Smyrna and then raced Super Late Models in 2018. A serious accident while competing in midget racing briefly put her career on hold in 2020, but Amber's will to come back was stronger than ever and resulted in her first starts in the ARCA Series West in 2021, in a Bill McAnally Racing entry. In her ARCA Menards rookie year, Balcaen often showed good potential and "underdog" spirit, outperforming her equipment. A Shift Up Now athlete, Amber Balcaen is a business graduate that has worked on her social media presence and is a successful brand ambassador for companies such as ICON Direct, that will continue to support her racing program in 2023. “I improved a lot through 2022 and I’m excited to put that all to use in 2023", Balcaen continued. "Between my experience last year, and the speed that the VMS cars show year in and year out, I have no doubt that we can put together a successful performance.” After a strong race in 2022, Balcaen will kick off her racing season at Daytona International Speedway for the opening round of the championship on February 18th.