December 17, 2008 (Daytona Beach, FL) - EM Motorsports and Hylton Motorsports are proud to announce that Leilani Munter has been hired to test the team's 2005 Ford Taurus during this weekend's ARCA Series open test at Daytona International...
December 17, 2008 (Daytona Beach, FL) - EM Motorsports and Hylton Motorsports are proud to announce that Leilani Munter has been hired to test the team's 2005 Ford Taurus during this weekend's ARCA Series open test at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR Legend James Hylton, 1966 NASCAR Rookie of the Year, will be Leilani's mentor and coach throughout the weekend.bI am thrilled to have a driver of Leilani's caliber in our race car. Her proven talent combined with her determination to succeed in the sport will be a winning combination in the ARCA Series," said Hylton, "I am looking forward to seeing her race in the ARCA 200 at Daytona on February 7th."
Leilani Munter has been racing since 2001 and last year became the fourth woman in history to race in the Indy Pro Series, the development league of IndyCar. Prior to running in the Indy Pro Series, she spent 6 years in stock car racing, earning 19 top ten finishes and 9 top five finishes in 39 starts. Leilani also sat the record at Texas Motor Speedway for the highest finish for a female driver at the 1.5 mile speedway. In 2007, Leilani moved into the Indy Pro Series and the open wheel community quickly took notice when she qualified fifth and had a very impressive run in her debut at Kentucky Spe edway. This performance earned her praise from the Indy Pro garage, including four time Indy 500 Champion Rick Mears who said, "Leilani did a great job, I am looking forward to seeing her race some more."
But no one is looking forward to Leilani getting back in a race car more than Leilani.
"I can't thank Hylton Motorsports and EM Motorsports enough for this opportunity. There is no better racetrack in the world to get behind the wheel of a stock car than Daytona," said Leilani, "To have the opportunity to work with James Hylton, a true legend in the sport, is an absolute honor and I know I will learn a lot from him."
Leilani will continue with her commitment she started in 2007 to offset her carbon footprint by adopting an acre of rainforest for every race she enters. As she did for all her Indy Pro Series events (both races and tests), Leilani will be offsetting her race car's emissions with World Land Trust.
"I felt a responsibility to do something about the impact I have on the environment because of my racing career," said Leilani, "I am speaking out about my actions in hopes of bringing awareness to race fans and the racing community. Carbon offsetting is not the solution to climate change, but I had to do something about my unavoidable emissions."
Leilani holds a degree in biology for the University of California San Diego and is well known for her support of environmental causes. She has made three trips to Capitol Hill this year to speak to members of Congress on behalf of climate change legislation and is an Ambassador for the National Wildlife Federation.
"World Land Trust helps local organizations buy, protect, and replant tropical rainforest to help absorb the carbon we pour into the air," said Byron Swift, President of World Land Trust-US, "Every time Leilani races she helps us purchase one more acre of endangered tropical rainforest. It's just great that she's doing this and at the same time raising awareness in the racing comm unity of the need to balance our use of carbon."
Leilani is a long time vegetarian, an animal friendly and environmentally sound diet. An area of rain forest the size of seven football fields is destroyed every minute to make room for grazing cattle and an average meat-eater requires about 20 times as much land as a vegetarian to fulfill their yearly calorie requirements. The United Nations determined that raising animals for food generates almost 50 percent more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, SUVs, trucks, and airplanes in the world combined. In addition, a report from the University of Chicago determined that switching to a vegan diet is 40 percent more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Toyota Prius.