Last August, we introduced you to Florida high-schooler and race car driver, Michael Lira. Although he isn’t old enough to race at tracks bigger than a mile and a half, the teenager completed a successful test at Daytona International Speedway in December 2013. This year, he plans to run 14 races this year with Kimmel Racing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, in the No. 69 Gary Yeomans Ford Fusion; including the season opener at Mobile International Speedway on March 22, 2013. Here’s the official release from Michael Lira Racing:
Mobile, AL — Florida high-school student and racecar driver Michael Lira kicked off his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards racing season with a strong 9th place finish in the ARCA Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway on Saturday. Lira started 14th and survived 11 caution periods to post the strong result in the No. 68 Gary Yeoman’s Ford Fusion.
“We knew we had a strong car after our test here last week,” Lira said. “The Kimmel Racing team did a great job getting us ready and we had a good clean race with smooth pit stops. I am very happy with our result today and proud of the work this great team did.”
The race was the second race of the year for the series, but due to age restrictions in the ARCA series, Lira was unable to participate in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. Due to a late race caution, the race went four laps beyond the scheduled 200 laps and ended with a “green-white-checkered” finish that saw Grant Enfinger take the win.
“It was a great race for the fans and it was a great day for Kimmel racing too,” Lira said. “I really enjoyed my first race here in Mobile.”
Lira is also participating in the PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge, a contest supported by some of NASCAR’s biggest names, like Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick.
“The PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge is a great opportunity,” Lira said. “I’m excited to be a part of it. The finalists are chosen by fan voting, and, so far, my fans have been really great in participating. I’m always trying to do as much as I can to keep improving and show what I can do.”
Fans can cast their votes for Michael Lira at http://peakstockcardream.com/contestant-bio.php?CID=639.
Lira will face a variety of tracks this season, from ARCA short-track staples like the famous Berlin Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway, to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series mainstays like Pocono Raceway and Kentucky Speedway. He will also be racing at two dirt tracks, as well as the New Jersey Motorsports Park road course.
Lira’s next race will be the Federated Auto Parts ARCA 200 at Salem Speedway on April 27. More information including live audio and scoring from the track can be found at ARCARacing.com.