Breidinger and Balcaen top ARCA testing at Daytona
Venturini Motorsports teammates Toni Breidinger and Amber Balcaen topped the 2-day ARCA pre-race testing at Daytona, leading a 61-car field. The two drivers were separated by 0.004 of a second in a promising start of their season.
Toni Breidinger and Amber Balcaen topped the Daytona pre-race practice in ARCA Menards, leading a 61 car field that saw Venturini Motorsports claiming the first top-4 spots.
Breidinger - at her second year in the series and with the team - preceded new teammate Balcaen by a mere 4 thousandths of a second and recorded a 183.228mph avg speed in the #55 Toyota, leading the Venturini pack in a draft run. Canadian Amber Balcaen has just announced a part-time campaign with VMS and has so far two confirmed rounds at Daytona and Talladega, but will aim to add more events to her schedule. At her first outing in VMS equipment, she immediately proved she can run at the top. Seven female drivers were present at the 2-day collective test: Logan Misuraca (Spraker Racing Chevrolet) had a positive run that put her in P24, as she is also set to tackle a part-time season in ARCA. The Florida-based driver announced Celsius Essential Energy as her primary sponsor for entries at Daytona and Talladega with Spraker Racing Enterprises. Misuraca had only entered one race in 2022, the East series opener, before focusing on putting together the program for 2023.
Particularly impressive was also Kayla Surles, 21 from Virginia. At her first time behind the wheel of an ARCA stock car. Surles has become an established racer in the Modified racing competitions, winning six races at Dominion Raceway and finishing runner-up in her division standings. She joined Mullins Racing in the #35 Chevrolet for her first test - and set a 178.902mph lap that put her in P33 in the timesheets.
Amber Slagle (#425 CRT Chevrolet) and Mandy Chick (#74 CRT Chevrolet) - both returning after appearances in 2022 - were P40 and P41 respectively, with personal best laps of 50.858 and 50.904. After two rounds in the East series, Chick had targeted the preseason Daytona test to earn her superspeedway license.
Stadium Super Truck star and former US F4 racer Zoey Edenholm completed her first laps in stock cars with Fast Track Racing, ending in P54. Edenholm has previously raced in karting, Formula 4 - last entering a round of the US series at COTA in 2021 - SRO GT America, and SST. The season opener will be on February 18th at Daytona International Speedway.