There are two things nearly every race fan shares with each other: a love of racing – and a love of food, everything from hot dogs to steaks to cheeseburgers.
But there also are vegans – those who do not eat meat, fish or poultry or use animal products – who are race fans, too. And race car driver and environmental and animal rights activist Leilani Munter wants to do her part in attracting more vegan race fans.
Munter will put her vegan philosophy front and center in Saturday’s ARCA Racing Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
A native of Rochester, Minnesota, Munter will drive the No. 15 Vegan Powered Toyota Camry for Venturini Motorsports in the Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200. It will be her ninth career start in the ARCA Series and her first since 2015.
According to VeganPowered.org, Munter’s car is the first vegan-themed race car to compete at Daytona.
The organization and its site are also promoting how race fans can live a healthier lifestyle with vegan food and recipes. That will include giving away free vegan food to race fans at DIS during Speedweeks, which begin this week.
Munter has added incentive in Saturday’s race. It’s her 43rd birthday. “Never underestimate a vegan hippy chick with a race car,” Munter says on her website.
Check out a video of Munter’s team getting her car prepared for Saturday’s race.
If there’s anyone in the Xfinity Series William Byron should turn to for advice during his rookie season in the series, it’s Elliott Sadler.
A veteran of more than 800 NASCAR races across all three of its national series, Sadler has taken the lead in advising the 19-year-old driver this season. During his appearance on NASCAR America, Sadler praised the driver and the time he’s spent with him.
“That kid is special,” Sadler said. “I want to be that guy (that helps), because I had that guy. I had Jeff Green when I started, I had Dale Jarrett, people I could lean on all the time that could help the learning curve.”
Sadler leads the points standings with four races left in the regular season, but he is winless so far. Byron has earned three wins and is second in points behind Sadler.
“He’s a student of the game,” Sadler said. “I’ve been in meetings with young kids that come along, we’ve been in the meeting and kids are still playing on their phones. I’m in a meeting with William … and he’s still learning and taking notes. He’s got great questions. We’re usually sitting beside each other on the airplanes and we’re talking about things for that particular weekend. I can’t help him drive the car faster. But I can help him maybe with restarts and getting on pit road. Maybe things to think about on Friday to maybe make your car better for Saturday.”
Roush Fenway Racing and artist Sam Bass have worked together to create Ryan Reed‘s throwback paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN.
Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford will resemble the No. 7 Zerex Ford driven by Alan Kulwicki in 1989.
Kulwicki was sponsored by Zerex from 1987-90, earning two of his five Cup wins in that time.
“My dad was huge fan of Alan and had a lot of respect for him, so it’s awesome to get to run this throwback scheme in Darlington,” Reed said in a press release. “My Dad ran his own race team and drove for himself throughout the 90s, just like Alan. Alan overcame a lot of challenges to become a champion and I can’t help but have a lot of respect for him.”
Bass, who lives with type 1 diabetes like Reed, worked with Kulwicki during his career and helped design Reed’s car. In a Facebook Live video, Bass said he took extra care to make the one in Reed’s No. 16 resemble Kulwicki’s No. 7.
Bass’ name will also be on the passenger-side nameplate on the roof of Reed’s car.
Reed’s car won’t be the only one at Darlington that will pay tribute to the 1992 Cup champion.