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Landauer Expects to Win, Contend for Championship in 2017

After a successful campaign last year in the K&N Pro Series West, Julia Landauer will return to the series once again in 2017. It was announced earlier this month she had signed with Bob Bruncati’s Sunrise Ford Racing Team for the 2017 season.

“I’m really excited,” she told POPULAR SPEED. “I’m really looking forward to taking everything I learned last year and going back this year and having that confidence if you will. Just looking forward to going out there, winning races and going for the championship.”

With the successful year she had in 2016, she is entering this year confidently, expecting to reach victory lane while contending for the championship.

“That’s what the primary focus is,” she added. “To go from winning a championship in 2015 to not in 2016 is not what I wanted to do, so that’s what I’m hoping to do.”

With the diversity of the schedule, Landauer says the pair of the tracks she’s most looking forward to returning to this year are both tracks in which she scored poor finishes in 2016.

“I’m most looking forward to redeeming myself at Sonoma,” she said. “It was the race that I was most looking forward to last year, and it ended up being my worst race of the season. So definitely looking forward to redeeming myself there, and definitely looking forward to going to Iowa. I really like that track, but we had a lot of problems there, so hopefully looking to do better at that race.”

Last season, Landauer put together an impressive campaign for Billy McAnally Racing, scoring seven top-fives and 13 top-10s en route to finishing fourth in the Pro Series West Standings. Notably, it marked the highest finish for a female driver in the NASCAR development series.

“I’m really proud of myself,” she said. “To come in as a rookie with races with so much longer than what I had ever raced before, and with a car that was quite much more power than I had in 2015, I’m really happy. We had some obstacles that we had to overcome as a team, and we put our heads together and did that. I’m glad to have finished pretty well for a rookie, and obviously to make it to fourth place to be the highest female finisher ever. That was all really good, and great to be racing in a televised series and become more involved in NASCAR.”

Looking back on the year, she notes the biggest thing she learned was equipment conservation, in saving the tires and not burning up the brakes throughout the event.

For Landauer, she was able to get her start in racing at a young age, beginning in go-karts at the age of 10.

“My family got me and my sibling into go-karts so we could do something as a family on weekends, and my sister and I could compete against the boys,” she said.

She was able to have success, steadily making her way up the racing ladder en route to making history in 2015. That season, she won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Limited Late Model Division Championship at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia. She was the first female to earn a title in the track’s history. Looking back on her career, she admits her most memorable moment has to be the first win during that championship campaign.

Through her move up the ranks, she has been doing things her way, finding ways to get her name out there, including public speaking. She was recognized for her efforts as Forbes named her to their Sports 30 under 30 list.

“It was quite an honor to be named to the Forbes Sports 30 under 30 list,” she said. “It shows that the different approach that I am taking to racing, in that really I’m working on everything from the branding to the team building and to be from New York, be different and show that it’s making a splash – that’s really cool. It also adds a boost of confidence in knowing all the hours that have gone into my career over the past six years has been recognized. I’m really privileged to be part of that list.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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J.F. Dumoulin Finding Focus and Ease with Multi-Year Deal

For the first time in his career, J.F. Dumoulin has some security in regards to his future in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.

The Quebec native recently announced his first multi-year sponsor deal, with Spectra Premium signing a two-year contract to sponsor him.

“Spectra Premium is a great company, and I’m glad to partner with them once again,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “The company has been good to me, themselves, and it’ll be great racing with them once again next year. We’re also going to have the opportunity to test through the winter, so things are pretty good. We’re heading in the right direction, and we just need to work harder to be better than this past year.”

Based in Quebec, the Canadian company owns and operates four manufacturing plants and 17 warehouses, specializing in auto parts manufacturing and distribution.

“We are honored to extend our relationship with Jean-François Dumoulin for the next two NASCAR Pinty’s Series race seasons,” said Jason Best, Senior Vice President of Spectra Premium Industries. “While working with Jean-François last season, we saw that he rapidly became an excellent ambassador for our company, which we are very pleased will continue in the future. In addition, we are confident that through the development of a Spectra Premium racing radiator, we will proudly showcase our company’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities as well as the differentiation and quality of our products.”

While he ran six races last season, the new contract brings forth a bigger opportunity as he will be able to run a minimum 10 races throughout the season. This past season didn’t go as he planned, with mechanical issues throughout the season and no top-five finishes.

“Last season was one of my worst seasons in the series,” he said. “I had some good races going, but either wrecked out or mechanical issues, from the tranny and the motor blowing up. That was pretty bad for me. There were other places we ran good but didn’t get the best finish that we could get. It was a pretty bad luck year, but on the other side, we had a lot of guys cheering for us at the end of the races and lots of support from people. We look forward to seeing all those people once again in 2017 and 2018, and hopefully do better.”

Going into the year, Dumoulin says the biggest hope is to work out a way to run the three races currently not on his schedule, but says it’ll depend on how the first three races of the season go.

“Hopefully I can run strong in the first three races, and then we can make a plan for the rest,” he said of his season goals. “Hopefully get some podium finishes, and I’d like to win a race – that’s for sure.”

Recently, NASCAR released the schedule, mirroring the one used in 2016 with a couple of adjustments, including an evening race at Circuit ICAR and a 100-lap header at Wyatt Group Raceway, versus 300 laps straight-up.

“It’s going to be hard,” Dumoulin said. “A 100-lap race is obviously really short, and tough. Then racing another after that, and a full race four days after that – it’s a big deal. It’s pretty hard on the equipment, but it should be good for a show. We have to head out there with a lot of spare parts.”

Out of all the races on the schedule, Dumoulin notes he’s most looking forward to Trois-Rivieres, with being his “home track, and one of the biggest events” on the season. He has been able to have success at home, posting six top-10s, including a fourth-place finish in 2014.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.