Actor Frankie Muniz said Wednesday that he’ll be racing in NASCAR’s ARCA series in 2023.
Muniz, 37, will race full-time for Rette Jones Racing in the fourth-tier NASCAR series. The former “Malcolm in the Middle” star is set to compete in 20 races over the course of the season. The first ARCA race of 2023 is Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway, the day before the Daytona 500.
“Ever since childhood, it’s been my dream to pursue racing in NASCAR, and it was important for me to partner with a team that aligned with my long-term objectives and vision while providing every opportunity imaginable to grow mentally and physically as a full-time race car driver,” Muniz said in a statement.
“I look forward to not only demonstrating my ability on the track and just how serious how I am in progressing in my racing career but also showing my son and family what it is to chase your dreams and reinvent yourself.”
Muniz participated in ARCA’s 2022 test at Daytona and will take part in the preseason test ahead of the 2023 season. His Rette Jones Racing team will race Fords.
“Ford is pleased to welcome Frankie Muniz to our performance family. Frankie is not only a successful actor but also a skilled and enthusiastic racer,” Ford’s Mark Rushbrook said in the release.
The ARCA Series ranks below NASCAR’s Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Truck Series and features a mix of teenage drivers starting their careers and veterans who race for fun while working other jobs. Just seven drivers competed in all 20 ARCA races in 2022, and given the lack of depth in the ARCA Series, it’s very possible that Muniz could score a few top-10s in his debut season. Amber Balcaen, the driver who competed for RJR in 2022, had six top-10 finishes and finished seventh in the points standings in her first ARCA season.
Muniz has been chasing his racing dream since the mid-2000s, when he raced in lower-tier series. He revealed in 2017 while on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” that he had broken his back and injured his hands and ribs in a racing crash.
He competed five times in the now-defunct Toyota celebrity race during the IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix weekend, with a best finish of third.