Milka Duno Hit Hard at Salem SpeedwayPress Release
Duno took a direct hit right in the driver’s door of her No. 6 Chevrolet – an impact so severe that the car was completely destroyed in the process. Crew Chief Dave Leiner Jr. was able to speak with Duno on the radio immediately after the hit and knew right away that she was conscious. She was able to get out of the car on her own and walk away from the crash but is dealing with major bruising to her wrist and left side of her body. Even with a helmet on the hit was so hard that she chipped a tooth from contact inside the helmet.
“I’m really very upset and frustrated with what happened at Salem,” said Duno. “I race very competitively and very safely and yet this is not the first time that we’ve been caught up in action that we didn’t create or provoke. We started the sessions on Saturday and were doing exactly what we’re supposed to do – getting better in each session and then in qualifying, but then we lose four spots on the starting grid. It can be very discouraging. The hit was the hardest I’ve ever experienced and I’m bruised and sore – but I’ll be at Talladega and we’ll be ready to go.”
The lead-up to Sunday’s 200-lap race included two practice sessions and a qualifying session on Saturday. Duno bettered her times from one practice session to the other and in qualifying as well – but the day wasn’t without complications. An electrical issue with the car shortened her second practice session and during qualifying the car was not ready to qualify in the order to which it was assigned. Duno did qualify for the 20th starting position but due to qualifying out of order was moved back to 24th for the start of the event.
Early in the race, on lap 39, Duno was side-by-side with another car when a competitor from behind decided that he could carve into position between the two – but there was no way to do this and he hit both Duno and the car next to her – spinning them both and putting the rear of Duno’s car into the wall. After hitting the wall her car came down perpendicular to the track and to a complete stop in the middle.
While several cars were able to slow and avoid contact with the disabled car, under caution the No. 82 of Sean Corr T-boned Duno at full speed – with no apparent signs of trying to slow down or avoid contact.
While a 31st place finish at Salem was not what Milka and her team hoped for heading to the next race, she and her crew will be at Talladega with a new car and hopes for a much better result.
“I’m disappointed with our results at Salem,” said Crew Chief Dave Leiner Jr. “The hit that Milka experienced was one of the hardest I have ever seen witnessed. I’m very happy and relieved that she made it through ok. We’re on our way to Talladega and will be doing all that we can for a good finish there.”
About Milka Duno
Duno has eight major race wins in the highest classes (Prototype) in the American Le Mans Series and Rolex Series and the highest finish ever by a female driver (2nd Place) in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the 48-year history of the race. Go, Milka, Go! – a book about her life and racing career, was awarded the Best Young Adult Sports/Recreation Book of 2009 at the 11th Annual International Latino Book Awards. In 2010, Duno became the first Venezuelan athlete inducted into the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame.
Please visit Duno at http://www.facebook.com/TheOfficialMilkaDunoFanPage
- RacePR / CapehartPR Press Release
Article Tags: American Le Mans Series, ARCA Racing Series, Dave Leiner Jr, Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200, Salem (Ind.) Speedway, Sean Corr, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway