By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
Mullins Racing will field two cars at the Daytona International Speedway in the ARCA season opener next month. Willie Mullins will race the No. 3 while Brayton Laster will run the No. 03 in his ARCA Menards Series debut the organization announced.
Mullins, the ARCA Menards Series veteran, fielded two cars during the annual preseason test last weekend (January 14th and 15th) featuring a wide variety of drivers in the second entry. As seen on TikTok videos, Mullins was very involved in giving advice to the other drivers in his camp. He also managed to put the fourth fastest lap of the weekend on the overall lap times sheet.
Mullins Racing representatives confirmed to Kickin’ the Tires that they are running the No. 03 to help out Clubb Racing for the 2022 season and denoted that Clubb Racing could run the No. 3 later in the season.
After a disappointing outing at Daytona in 2021, Mullins will return to his No. 3 and look to better the best career finish he earned in 2018. Despite the bad luck at Daytona, Mullins still left 2021 with a top-10 finish at Elko finishing eighth. With that finish, he extended his top-10 streak to two years in a row with at least one top-10 finish. In two of the last three ARCA Menards Series races at Daytona, bad luck has struck the No. 3 team. Destroying the radiator last year and being involved in an early accident with Michael Self in 2019 really took a toll on the organization. The incident at Daytona last year kept them from running at Talladega later on in 2021.
For just the third time in team history though, Mullins Racing will field two cars in the season opener at Daytona. The last time the organization did so was in 2017 and 2018 both at Elko Speedway in Elko New Market, Minnesota. Robert Bruce ran the No. 28 in the 2017 edition and he ran the No. 2 in the 2018 edition. Bruce earned the best finish of the two cars in both of those races including a 10th place finish in 2018.
At Daytona though, Mullins will field a second car for Brayton Laster. One of the few drivers who tested with Mullins Racing, Laster will make his ARCA Menards Series debut on the big stage of Daytona. The Greenwood, Indiana driver has mainly raced on dirt in his career. Nicknamed the “Master of Disaster”, he earned Rookie of the Year honors in the Super Late Model Series at Brownstown Speedway in 2018. He finished third-place in points at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Kentucky, and third in the Ultimate Heart of America Super Late Model Series last season.
The 19-year old was 35th fastest of 64 drivers in the ARCA Menards Series preseason test at Daytona. He was just two seconds off the fastest driver, Greg Van Alst, during his first attempt behind the wheel of a stock car. Laster will use the experience gained in the preseason test and will look to earn a solid finish in his debut.