She’s tried sports cars and open wheel full-time but now Milka Duno will try stock cars. It was announced that the now 40 year old from Venezuela will be driving a Venturini Motorsports entry for the entire 2013 ARCA season. Her first race for the Billy Venturini led team will be at the ‘World Center of Racing’ at Daytona International Speedway on February 16.
The first Hispanic woman to ever compete in the Indy 500, Duno has had limited victories racing in the U.S., where she’s lived for the past 14 years. She had some success in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and also drove full-time in the IZOD IndyCar series.
Carrying the banner for Venezuela as well as female drivers has made her career both high-profile and controversial. During her time in IndyCar, it was argued constantly that she shouldn’t be allowed to stay on the track and drivers often complained derogatorily about Duno being a ‘moving chicane’. She was subsequently parked for being too slow. She also had run-ins with Danica Patrick when the popular Patrick was driving IndyCar (source – USA Today).
Her support from Venezuelan government-backed business entities has given Duno the opportunity to continue her motorsports career. At Venturini, she will have a major Venezuelan telecommunications company as a sponsor along with an online directory business.
Technically, this will be Mika Duno’s fourth year in ARCA, having driven her first stock car race back at this same race in 2010 when she finished last. Interestingly, out of 43 drivers, that event had six women racers start.
Additional sources: Racing Reference