Leilani Munter, Shannon McIntosh announce ARCA race plans

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The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has testing at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. ARCA, while not affiliated directly with NASCAR, is a stock car racing series that generally kicks off Daytona Speedweeks in style with a barnburner of a 200-mile race.

Of note, two female drivers have some races confirmed in the series for 2014. Series veteran, environmental activist and occasional stunt double Leilani Munter will be one of five drivers testing this weekend for Venturini Motorsports; Munter is also confirmed to race with the team in its No. 55 entry at Daytona. More info on that is linked here.

Meanwhile, former USF2000 open-wheel racer Shannon McIntosh will test for Cunningham Motorsports this weekend. McIntosh competed in USF2000 for two full seasons (2011-2012) and now returns to her oval roots. She’ll race either 6 or 7 events, beginning April 27 at Salem Speedway. More info for that is linked here.

The full test entry list for this weekend’s action is linked here. NBCSN carried coverage of four 2013 ARCA races.

Former 5-time ALMS and Le Mans-winning team owner Dave Maraj killed in accident

Photo courtesy Dave Maraj Facebook page
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Well-known sports car team owner and automobile dealership owner Dave Maraj was killed Saturday night in a boating accident in Florida, according to SportsCar365.com.

Maraj’s Champion Racing teams won five consecutive American Le Mans Series championships from 2004 through 2008, and also captured the overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005, the last American team to do so in the iconic sports car race.

IMSA President Scott Atherton released the following statement mourning Maraj’s passing:

Dave Maraj. Photo courtesy IMSA.

“All of us at IMSA are shocked and saddened by the news of Dave Maraj’s passing. As a team owner in the American Le Mans Series, Dave and his Champion Racing organization were the epitome of professionalism and excellence, as their five series championships and 24 Hours of Le Mans victory will attest.

“Dave was a tremendous competitor and a great friend to all in the paddock throughout his time in our sport. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave’s family and friends and to all of his associates at Champion Motors.”

Maraj was a very successful automobile dealership owner, most notably Champion Motors and Champion Porsche in Pompano Beach, Florida, the latter considered the No. 1 Porsche dealer in the U.S.

Details of how Maraj died have not been released.

Maraj sold his racing operation after the 2008 season and devoted himself to his Porsche and Audi auto dealerships, as well as competitive sailing.