ROOKIE LICATA STARTS DAYTONA WITH STRONG SIXTH PLACE FINISH

 

LAKE BALBOA, CALIF. (February 15, 2011) – Nineteen year-old Joey Licata, Jr. drove the #77 W.R.O.N.G. / Cunningham Motorsports Dodge to a sixth place finish in his ARCA Racing Series debut during the “Slick Mist 200” at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday evening.

 

Licata is a member of the Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle driver development program which works with an international roster of drivers who have the potential to make a career in NASCAR.

 

The back-to-back ASA TRUCK SERIES champion qualified 25th for the race after a problem with the oil heater.  Licata knew he had a car to contend for the victory, but first he would have to navigate through the pack and avoid potential crashes.

 

Licata masterfully avoided a spinning car in turn three and then took a fuel only stop that dropped him back to the 36th position.

 

By lap 22, Licata was up to the fourth position and challenging for the race win.  The top-six cars broke away with speeds increasing by more than 12 miles per hour in the draft versus what Licata had done in single car runs.

 

In the closing laps, Licata found himself in the third position facing pressure from the fourth place car.  Coming to the white flag, Licata went to the outside in bid to snare the race win, but he wasn’t given any drafting help and had to settle for a sixth place finish.

 

“I had a good leading car and if he had pulled out to follow we could have done it!” Licata said.  “I went for it because I was weighing risk versus reward and I knew that we had a comfortable cushion on the rest of the pack.”

 

Licata’s strong showing in the W.R.O.N.G. Dodge has him optimistic and excited for Talladega in April.

 

“The team worked well together and in the race, every lap I learned something,” Licata said.  “I think we have a car to contend at Talladega!”

 

The two month break between races will allow Cunningham Motorsports some time to test and make adjustments to the race car.  The sixth place finish was an outstanding performance for the rookie driver and gives Joey a great start to the 2011 ARCA season.

 

“This was a banner moment for both Joey and everyone involved in the Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle driver development program,” Driver Coach Ron Sutton said.  “The sixth place finish opened eyes to Joey’s talent! We couldn’t be more proud.”

 

Joey Licata, Jr. Racing and Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle thank partners: W.R.O.N.G. Clothing, K&N Filters, Scribner Plastics, Allstar Performance, Sunoco Race Fuels, and Star Racing Supply.  Licata would also like to thank supporters Jordan Kidushim and Luke Forstmann.

 

Joey Licata, Jr. Racing is online at www.joeylicata.com

 

For more information on Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle, log on to www.winners-circle-racing.com

 

 

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