PORT ORANGE, FL. (January 5, 2017) – Michael Lira, 19-year-old ARCA Racing Series driver based out of Port Orange, Florida, announces today that he will be behind the wheel of the Lira Motorsports entry during the Zack Donatti Memorial Pro-Late Model event at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna, Florida this coming weekend.
“The guys have put a lot of effort into this car over the off-season. I’m looking forward to having a strong 2017 debut to start the season off on the right foot. I also look forward to a great finish for the work that the team has put into this car,” said Lira.
Lira will be piloting the No. 57 Safecraft/MOMO Motorsport Ford for 125 laps of competitive Pro-Late Model racing this Saturday evening. He will also be welcoming back Traqgear and Roux Helmets aboard for the ride.
“I’m very, very excited to continue our partnerships with MOMO, Safecraft, and Traqgear. They have been incredibly supportive of our efforts for a few seasons now,” Lira said. “It’s so great having partners that make such great products that you can truly believe in. I’m also excited to be running my first race with the new Roux R-1 helmet. I’ve been looking forward to trying this new water-cooled carbon helmet since they announced they were coming out with it.”
Lira’s last race of the 2016 season was in the ARCA Racing Series in September at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds with the help of ARCA championship contender Josh Williams as his crew chief. Williams will be partnered alongside Lira again this weekend for the 125-lap race at New Smyrna Speedway.
“I’m glad to be working with Josh again on the radio. We have worked together really well in the past. He brings to the table not only his expertise of working on the cars, knowing how they work, and how to make them drive better but he also drives himself. He understands the experience, and he can get an idea of what I’m talking about when I say what I’m feeling from inside the car,” Lira said.
The extensive amount of knowledge and racing experiences between Lira and Williams will make this duo a team to beat this weekend.
Since Lira is a native of Port Orange, Florida, he is no stranger to New Smyrna Speedway or its Victory Lane. He has a Pro-Truck championship and multiple Pro-Late Model wins under his belt. He is looking forward to using those experiences to his benefit in what he calls a “landmark event.”
“A lot of those who are running the Redeye 100 will also be running the pro-late event, so there will be a lot of short track talent and people from the Super ranks to compete against. I remain confident that we will be tough to beat because the team worked endlessly on the car, and I’m looking forward to showing their hard work.”
The Zack Donatti Memorial 125 is a Pro-Late Model race that is run in memorial of late racecar driver Zack Donatti. Donatti was a quarter-midget national champion and New Smyrna Speedway Late-model track champion. His father, Tom Donatti, created the ZDR Racing Foundation and this race in honor of his son.
“This race is definitely special for me,” Lira said. “When Zack first moved up to late models we got his truck from him and he coached me out at Orlando Speedworld. He really taught me some the basics of racing in a full sized car. His dad, Tom, has put a lot into this race to make it a marquee event in the pro late model calendar and I’m so proud that’s happening.”
Lira is very excited about having the opportunity to run this race again this year. He would like to thank Safecraft, MOMO, Traqgear, and Roux Helmets for coming on board this weekend to make this opportunity possible.