Kansas: Leilani Munter preview

LEILANI HAS SUCCESSFUL TEST AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY Leilani Returns to ARCA Racing in the Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway on September 30, Race Airs Live on SPEED KANSAS CITY, KS (September 21, 2010) Stock car racing fans at Kansas Speedway on...

LEILANI HAS SUCCESSFUL TEST AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY
Leilani Returns to ARCA Racing in the Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway on September 30, Race Airs Live on SPEED

KANSAS CITY, KS (September 21, 2010) Stock car racing fans at Kansas Speedway on September 30 will receive an unusual message from one of the cars speeding around the track: America needs to compete in the "Race to Energy Independence."

"Partnering with Operation Free and Sturman Industries is great symmetry for my efforts to promote environmental responsibility and pollution reduction. America's veterans have sacrificed so much for the rest of us and we should listen to their message that reducing our dependence on foreign oil and addressing climate change must be a national security priority for America," said Leilani Munter.

"Racing fans, like most Americans, want a future where our energy security is ensured. Partnering the veterans of Operation Free with a dynamic person like Leilani and her team with help us reach a vast, new audience with our message that energy independence and addressing climate change are national security priorities that we can all support. America needs to compete in the 'Race to Energy Independence' for more jobs, less pollution, and greater security," said Jonathan Powers, former U.S. Army Captain and COO of the Truman National Security Project.

Leilani Munter hasn't sat in a race car since her heartbreaking debut in the ARCA Series at Daytona in February, where she was taken out in "The Big One" when a car spun and took much of the field with him. So it's understandable why she was full of smiles at Tuesday's open ARCA Series test at Kansas Speedway. Her fast time of 33.598, with an average speed of 160.724 mph, was made with a race set up, the team ran no mock qualifying runs.

"We are very pleased with today's testing. We ended up 16th quickest overall without making a qualifying run. Everyone that did make a qualifying run picked up at least three to five tenths. If we can do the same we'll be in the top ten. The team spent most of the day getting Leilani comfortable with the car. We made a lot of changes to free up the car," said race team owner Mark Gibson, "I felt it was important to keep the car as secure as we could for Leilani until she was comfortable with how fast the mile and a half track can be in an 800 horsepower stock car . She adapted very quickly with good feedback. Leilani was able to let us know what she needed the car to do. Everyone did a great job. All in all it was a great day. It gives us a great starting point when we come back next week for the race. At the end of the day, I feel like both the team and Leilani had begun to build on the bond we started at Daytona."

"It feels really great to be back in a race car. I am really happy with the test. We logged more laps than any team, I think around 130, and that's what I needed to do - just get seat time," said Leilani Munter, "In the morning the car was really tight. Mark started with a very conservative set up - he just wanted me to get comfortable since the last time I was on a 1.5 mile it was in a 1400 lb Indy Lights car which is of course handles drastically different from a 3400 lb ARCA car. We continued to loosen up the car throughout the day and at lunch we made a gear change and when we went back out in the afternoon, we were 8th quick with our race set up which felt great. To be right up there with two Cup drivers and the ARCA regulars running for the championship after having been out of a car for so long felt pretty good. Then the other teams started to do qualifying runs so it dropped us back on the charts but I know if we had thrown on sticker tires and taped up our car we would have picked up a lot of time as well. We have a great race set up and that's what counts," she added with a smile, "I'm so thrilled to be back in a race car, I had forgotten how much fun it really is and I can't wait to race next week!"

Leilani will drive the #59 Operation Free Sturman Industries "Race to Energy Independence" Dodge Charger for Mark Gibson Racing at Kansas Speedway on September 30.

-source: leilani munter PR

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Mark Gibson , Leilani Munter