ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Milka Duno will appear at the 14th Annual Bedford Public Schools Safety Vehicle Expo on Friday at Monroe Road Elementary School in Lambertville, Mich.
Duno’s appearance is part of her visit to the Toledo area for Sunday’s Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care, the fourth race of the ARCA Racing Series season.
The event, open to all second and third grade students from five elementary schools in the Bedford district, will feature safety and emergency equipment from more than a dozen public safety and service agencies throughout Monroe County and the Toledo metropolitan area.
Duno’s No. 63 Sheltra Motorsports Dodge will be on display, as will the ARCA safety vehicle, a Dodge Journey supplied by Grogan’s Towne Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Toledo. Duno and representatives from the ARCA Racing Series will be on hand to show approximately 1200 students in attendance how stock car racing can be as safe as it is entertaining.
Duno will also show her HANS (head and neck support) device, her racing helmet, and her fire-retardant uniform.
Other entities scheduled to show safety-related vehicles and equipment at the student expo include the Michigan State Police, the University of Toledo Police, the United States Coast Guard, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bedford Township Fire Department, among others.
In addition to being one of the most successful female race car drivers – with notable experience in three Indianapolis 500s and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series – Duno is also a qualified Naval Engineer who has four Master’s degrees: Organizational Development, Naval Architecture, Aquaculture, and Maritime Business. Duno earned her last three degrees simultaneously.
Just before racing at Salem Speedway two weeks ago, Duno explained her motive to visit schools and educate children.
“I enjoy talking with the students and the schools and the kids at every place I can go, and at every race track also,” Duno said. “I can talk about education and safety, and how those are forever. I’m so glad to be part of every activity. That’s my little contribution to the new generation.
“The students are going to be the future, and they have to be prepared. I can talk about safety in the race car, but also safety outside of the race track. In the future, they will have to be observant at all times.”
Duno’s Friday appearance at the safety expo will follow a Thursday speaking engagement elsewhere in the school district.
The Venezuelan driver’s “Milka Way” program inspires students of all ages to “Aim for the Stars” and achieve academic excellence. She has taken this message to children and students across the United States and around the world to help inspire and motivate them and to help them understand the importance of education.
Duno will visit two elementary schools – Temperance Road Elementary and Douglas Road Elementary – on Thursday, engaging in a question-and-answer period and meeting students from all grades for pictures and autographs.
The ARCA Racing Series is partnering with Duno’s “Milka Way” program to help spread the importance of education among the local community, the home to the ARCA Racing Series.
“Milka’s visits to the schools in our backyard are key examples of why the ARCA Racing Series is fortunate to feature a competitor like her this season,” said Griffin Hickman, director of communications for ARCA. “Her outreach will make a lasting educational memory for the children of this community, act as a stepping stone for their futures and along the way, expose them to the thrilling product of ARCA competition. We’re pleased to join Milka in making this connection to the schools.”
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 28 states since its inception. The series tests the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, annually visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course.