Dave Darland Hoping To Race At Daytona
INDIANAPOLIS — Many-time USAC open-wheel champion Dave Darland is hoping to take his talent to Daytona Beach in February.
Darland is working on a deal that would see him enter the ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil 200 that opens the season Feb. 15 at Daytona Int’l Speedway. The opportunity came about when Darland was approached by team owner Jeff Montgomery about the idea of entering a few ARCA races in 2014.
“I’ve known him (Jeff) for about seven or eight years. His boy (Spencer Montgomery) runs a 600 mini sprint in Macon,” Darland said. “It all came about when Jeff asked me about running some races and possibly Daytona if we got the money. Jeff Montgomery is all responsible for it.”
For Darland, who has won championships in all three USAC national divisions, the idea of running on the high banks of Daytona Int’l Speedway is too good to pass up. The team, which will utilize RCR engines and former Bobby Gerhart race cars, plans to test at Daytona during the annual ARCA test on Dec. 20-22.
“Just running Daytona is the main goal and we are trying to get that accomplished right now,” Darland said. “Daytona is not an opportunity you get very often. Most people never (get it). It is a huge deal for me to have this opportunity so hopefully we can make the most of it and go down there and have a decent race and have some fun and just say that I did it.”
Darland said the team is looking for sponsors or donations to help fund the project. Darland said they are organizing a donation account that will be used to help pay for tires and hire a pit crew for the race. He said all the details will be posted to his official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DaveDarland) once they are available.
“Just be patient with us and bear with us. We will eventually (get the account set up),” Darland said. “I know we are running out of time already. Eventually we’re going to have all the information on there and people can just go to my Facebook page and keep track of what to do and where we are at with everything.
“We’ve got top of the line things (car and engine) in place, we just need to round up enough support to make it happen,” Darland said.
Should the Daytona program come together as Darland hopes, there is a possibility that he could make more ARCA starts for the team in 2014. However, right now all the 47-year-old driver wants to think about is getting to Daytona.
“I would like to see all my sprint cars fans at Daytona,” Darland said. “I just hope everybody is as excited about it as I am.”
Darland said regardless of what happens at Daytona, he is planning to contest the full AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series schedule again with the Phillips Motorsports team.
“I’m going to do USAC again driving for the Phillips Motorsports sprint car team that I drove for last year,” said Darland, who won seven USAC races in the Phillips No. 71p this season. “We had a great year with them. We are also looking for support as everybody always is. Running a USAC sprint car is not cheap. This team here, they pour their heart and soul and bank account into this sprint car deal.
“Racing is not cheap no matter what level you are at,” Darland said.