Monday, January 25, 2010

Leilani Munter talks with IndyCarGarage

Some of you might remember Leilani from a previous article that IndyCarGarage featured on her about becoming the next Danica Patrick.

Leilani seems to have pulled a Danica type move this season as she is focusing her career on a ARCA race package for 10 races. IndyCarGarage had the privilege of talking with Leilani on a variety of subjects.

Tell us about your current situation at the present moment, ARCA future?

We have two new associate sponsors, (Nextera Energy / Green and Save) and our plan is to run 10 ARCA races, all of which will featured live on Speed TV. I am very excited to be pared up with Mark Gibson Racing.

You mentioned that you plan to run at Texas Motor Speedway this year, you’ve had great success there, can you explain why?

I don’t really know at the moment, everything just kind of comes together and I’ve had some good showings there. I really like Texas, and the track just fits me.
What’s the biggest different between NASCAR style driving and Open Wheel style

My background was stock car racing from the beginning so I’ve had far more experience in a stock car compared to an IndyCar. The main difference between a stock car and an IndyCar is handling. IndyCar is like a go cart, you point in one direction and it goes that direction. Stock cars slide up the track and you have to deal with the weight adjustment of the car. NASCAR is much more difficult to adjust to. One of the primary reasons I went back to NASCAR this year was that Indy Lights doesn’t have a T.V. package this year so it’s a tough sell to sponsors when there isn’t a T.V package outside of the Freedom 100. I honestly love to drive both types of cars and just like to race.

Why do you think Danica Patrick jumped to NASCAR and how do you think Danica will adjust to the NASCAR scene this year?
You would have to ask Danica about why she came over, but I think honestly it was something new that presents a challenge. Danica is a very good driver and I think she will have a very good shot. She will have great equipment, and she will be driving for a very good team. In racing, we all know its about the equipment you have that allows you to go out and perform well, I think she is setting herself up to have success. She will need some times to adjust to the cars.

You recently got married, how's the married life treating you these days?

Married life is treating me great, we had been together for several years before so my life didn’t really change much.. Racing is a very up and down rollercoaster with big highs and big lows , so it’s nice to be married and have comfort when you come home. We also have a new echo friendly house that we love to live in together.

Danica, yourself and Milka Duno all will be at the ARCA Daytona race, who finishes the highest between you three?

That’s tough to predict, Daytona is famous for having the big one (wreck), so it could come down to luck from that standpoint. All three of us will be in quality equipment with a good shot to win. Ali Owens is another female driver that will be competing in the ARCA Daytona race, and she is a good friend of mine.

You’re set to drive at Daytona this year, in your opinion which race do you compete in first, the Daytona 500 or the Indy 500? Do you have a preference?

I have no idea where my career will take me, it just all depends on my sponsors and where they want to go. I have no idea, I just go wherever I can race. I am a driver and would love to race both. Some people like open wheel, some like NASCAR, as a driver I like both and I like to run both. Overall I am just looking forward to getting in a car and racing. I would have love to run Lights this year, but with the TV package not available, it makes racing Lights a very tough sell to sponsors. I just want to race, that’s what I want to do.

IndyCarGarage would like to thank Leilani for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk with us. We wish Leilani the best of luck in the upcoming season!

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