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Milka Duno to make Nationwide debut at Bristol

Milka Duno
Milka Duno
Verizon IndyCar Series

Milka Duno is slated to make her NASCAR Nationwide Series debut on Friday night in the Food City 300 at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway. She'll be behind the wheel of the No. 29 Toyota of RAB Racing and be a teammate to James Buescher, RAB Racing's regular driver of the No. 99 car. With the race start, Duno will become the first Hispanic female driver to compete in a NASCAR national level event.

"I really like short track racing and enjoyed those races in ARCA very much," Duno said. "But this will not only be my first time racing at Bristol, it will also be my first NASCAR Nantionwide Series race, and I know that the competition at this level is fierce. I'm sure that it will be a big challenge, and together with the RAB Racing crew, we'll be working hard to earn a good result."

Duno, a former Indy car and sports car racer, has raced stock cars in the ARCA Racing Series for three years, with her first full-time season in the ARCA series coming in 2013. Last year, she posted two top-10 finishes in seven short-track races.

Keith Hinkein will be Duno's crew chief at Bristol.

"I'm looking forward to this weekend with Milka and the RAB Racing team," Hinkein said. "Bristol is such a fast-paced race track that our intentions are to log as many laps in practice and to give her plenty track time to get used to the race track. I've been with some of the best drivers there are in this sport, and most of them can't figure out what corner they're in sometimes when the caution comes out. I'm very much looking forward to having Milka qualify for her first-ever Nationwide Series race; we just have to give her everything she needs to do it, and that's what RAB Racing has done. I've had some success here in the past and am looking forward to it again."

Qualifying for the Food City 250 is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. ET on Friday, with the race to follow at 7:30 p.m. The race may be seen live on ESPN.