Venturini Motorsports has been involved in the ARCA Menards Series since 1982, meaning the team’s run has lasted longer than all but three teams that currently field cars in the NASCAR Cup Series. While Venturini has branched out into the upper levels of NASCAR for select races, they will extend their reach to the ARCA Menards Series East with Mason Diaz behind the wheel for the full 2020 season.
After making three starts in the series in 2019, the Manassas, Virginia driver makes the jump to full-time competition in a year of big change between ARCA and what used to be the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West. Diaz will bring over the same team that won the ARCA Menards Series championship with Christian Eckes in 2019, which also brings a boost of confidence to the 19-year-old going into the season.
“Just the team alone is one of the most prestigious teams, when someone asks about ARCA, it’s Venturini. Last year with them bringing home the owner and driver’s championships and me filling the seat, there’s no question what we should be able to do next year with Christian Eckes’s championship team coming aboard with me,” Diaz told Speed51.com. “We’re going to go to the race track knowing we can win. With Bill and Billy giving us this opportunity to run a full season with the East, I’m unbelievably thankful for it.”
Along with the three ARCA East starts over the past season, Diaz has also made starts in the NASCAR Xfinity and Truck Series’ in the last two seasons. He hopes to use any experience he’s gained in the heavier stock cars for a quick start in 2020.
“Anything you can get for experience always helps. They all drive somewhat close to the same but they’re all different due to the packages and stuff, but it’s all a heavy-based car with horsepower,” he said. “Of course ARCA has less horsepower than Xfinity or Truck, but you take away the aero difference. Anything you drive that’s capable with heavy motor, any experience will help, even from Late Model Stocks to Super Late Models, any experience will help you no matter where.”
With racing for a championship team, the expectations Diaz has set for himself are high. However, he has set modest goals for his rookie season in the ARCA Menards Series East with a championship not completely out of the mindset for 2020.
“The goal for 2020 is just to do the best we possibly can. Coming with a championship team, we’re expecting high things,” he stated. “I just got to make sure I don’t let the pressure get to myself and hopefully fill the shoes of Christian (Eckes) and go get a championship.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com