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December 5, 1985 – Frankie Muniz, actor and race car driver, is born

Frankie Muniz (via his Facebook page)

Frankie Muniz, best known as Malcolm from the TV show Malcolm in the Middle, is also a race car driver who was born on this day in 1985. About five years after watching the crash the killed Dale Earnhardt in person, Muniz put his acting career on pause to pursue life behind the wheel.

Muniz’s career in car racing traces back to 2004, when he ran the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach as a celebrity participant, finishing 7th. The following year, he finished third, and was the best-finishing celebrity after capitalizing on Ingo Rademacher and Aaron Peirsol’s contact on the final lap. While investigating the possibility of joining a racing team as an owner, he was granted a test in a car, and instead signed a two-year deal with Jensen Motorsport as a driver. Muniz entered fourteen races during the 2006 Formula BMW USA season, and failed to finish in a point-scoring position. He was selected as one of the thirty–six drivers to compete in the annual Formula BMW World Final at Valencia. Muniz finished 29th. In April, he again competed in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity, finishing 11th after starting 19th.

Frankie Muniz in 2011. By Real TV Films/Carole Lowe Photography – CC BY 2.0

In 2007, Muniz moved up to the more competitive Champ Car Atlantic Series, where he competed in the entire season of 12 races. For the season, his best race finish was ninth place, and he officially earned a total of 41 points (for 22nd place) and $17,000 in prize money, logging 351 laps. In January 2007, he placed second at the Sebring Winter National race. He signed with Atlantic Championship-winning team Pacific Coast Motorsports in January 2008, with a goal to consistently compete in the top ten of the points championship. He finished the 2008 season in eleventh place. At the end of the 2008 season, he won the Jovy Marcelo Award, an award for sportsmanship voted on by fellow drivers named in memory of the 1991 Atlantic Championship winner who was killed during practice for the 1992 Indianapolis 500. In 2009, Muniz joined Team Stargate Worlds, and finished in the top ten in every race he contested, with a best finish of fourth at Miller Motorsports Park. However, prior to the penultimate race at Road America, his season was shortened by wrist surgery.

In 2011, Muniz returned to the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race; after starting 15th, he finished 4th. On October 23, 2021, Muniz made his stock car racing debut at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, competing in the SRL Pro Late Model series driving for High Point Racing. In January 2022, Muniz participated in the ARCA Menards Series test at Daytona International Speedway, driving the No. 01 Ford for Fast Track Racing.

The above information is sourced from the Frankie Muniz wikipedia page.

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