Willie Mullins and Mullins Racing are going to mix a little bit of old with a little bit of new this year in Florida.
Mullins and the No. 3 Crow Wing Recycling Ford team will open the ARCA Menards Series season on Saturday, Feb. 8 by competing in the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire at Daytona International Speedway.
Following the race at Daytona, Mullins Racing will travel to New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., on Feb. 10 to compete in the Skips Western Outfitters 175, the season opener for the ARCA Menards Series East.
“We’re going to do the double I guess you could call it,” Mullins said. “That’s our plan. We’re going to try and stick to it and see what happens.”
Mullins returns to Daytona this year in search of redemption. One year ago Mullins qualified a career-best fourth for the ARCA Menards Series opener, but a crash on the third lap of competition brought a premature end to his day.
“We’re cautiously optimistic again,” said Mullins, who finished second in the ARCA opener at Daytona in 2018. “We just need to not make any mistakes. I, as a driver, I can’t make mistakes like I did last year. We have a good car and we were solid in the test down there a few weeks ago, we just need to carry that into the race. We want to come out of there with a top-10.”
Typically Mullins Racing would return home to Fredericksburg, Va., following the race at Daytona. However, thanks to the unification of the rulebooks between the ARCA Menards Series and the ARCA Menards Series East and West (previously known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series), the opportunity presented itself for the team to compete at New Smyrna Speedway.
Mullins has two career ARCA Menards Series short track starts, both coming at Minnesota’s Elko Speedway. This will be his first trip to New Smyrna Speedway.
“We’re going to see what we’ve got at New Smyrna,” Mullins said. “It’s something for us to look forward to after the superspeedway race. Whether that’s good or bad or however it turns out, we’ll have the chance to go somewhere else and turn some laps and see what happens.”
Mullins will continue to work with veteran crew chief Tony Furr, who joined the team last year. In addition, the entire crew from last season will be back with Mullins for the opening weekend of ARCA Menards Series competition.
“I have to thank all of our crew guys that come back every year to give us a shot to do this. Without them we wouldn’t be able to do it,” Mullins said. “Also thanks to Crow Wing Recycling, CW Metals, Bugy’s Auto and all of our sponsors for helping us go racing every year.”
The No. 3 Mullins Racing Ford carries sponsorship support from Crow Wing Recycling, CW Metals, Bugsy’s Auto, Snap On by Timmy Brann and Dinah Marie Photography.
— Mullins Racing —