Amber Balcaen lands full season ARCA seat with RJR
Amber Balcaen – the first Canadian woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race in the US – announced a full-time move to ARCA Menards Series with Rette Jones Racing and support from ICON Direct.
Canadian racer Amber Balcaen will contest the 2022 full-campaign in ARCA Menards series with Rette Jones Racing, with support from sponsor ICON Direct - in an all-Canadian operation. “It is really special for me as a Canadian competing in the United States to be representing all Canadian companies on my car with Rette Jones Racing,” said the 29-year old driver, a Winnipeg-native. “To have the hometown support is amazing. I couldn’t do this without them.” Balcaen already partnered with ICON Direct - a manufacturer of high-quality components for the RV industry - during her part-time campaign in 2021, when she raced in ARCA Menards Series West at the two Irwindale rounds and at Las Vegas Bullring, with a best finish of 11th. She has previously competed in the K&N Pro Series as well as in Super Late Models. Amber is also part of the Shift Up Now collective, a group of US-based female racing drivers led by Indycar star Pippa Mann, aimed at helping female athletes in the industry. Balcaen - a third-generation racer - made headlines in 2016 when she became the first Canadian woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race on US soil. She will pilot the #30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion in the 20-event schedule, starting from the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire at Daytona International Speedway on 19th February, which traditionally opens the ARCA season. “Racing in NASCAR’s national ARCA Menards Series has always been my dream,” commented Balcaen. “To compete at historic tracks like Daytona and Talladega is something I have visualized for years. I have dedicated the last eight years, working hard to make this dream become reality and I cannot be more excited to live it.” “We are excited to be a returning sponsor of Amber Balcaen in NASCAR’s ARCA Menards Series,” added John Loewen, CEO of ICON Technologies Limited. “I resonate with Amber’s underdog story. She has a really bright future as a professional race car driver and is a great brand ambassador for ICON.” Rette Jones Racing is also not new to providing opportunities to fast female drivers: from 2016 to 2020, the team ran fellow Canadian Dominique Van Wieringen in ARCA Menards and ARCA Menards Series East. Balcaen, who was previously part of the Bill McAnally Racing's Driver Academy, is now ready to step to the National series and will make her debut behind the wheel of the RJR's machine on January 14-15, for the collective pre-season test at Daytona.