Toni Breidinger has done a little bit of everything this year.
The 24-year-old Venturini Motorsports driver started out in go-karts at a young age before graduating through the ranks of NASCAR, which led her to running in both the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2023.
Running a full-time campaign in ARCA in 2022 led to the opportunity to make several Truck starts in 2023 with TRICON Garage, where she’s clocked finishes of 15th, 24th and 17th.
That best finish of 15th came in her debut at Kansas Speedway, where she also claimed a career-best ARCA result of third just a week prior to the Bristol Motor Speedway weekend.
“I feel like there’s a lot you can apply from the ARCA side,” Breidinger told Frontstretch‘s Adam Cheek at Bristol Motor Speedway last week. “I think it’s been really great for my development.”
Breidinger finished well at Dover Motor Speedway in April, a track that bears some similarities to Bristol. She finished 12th in the Bristol 200 last Thursday (Sept. 14), one lap down after being involved in an incident with Frankie Muniz earlier in the race. It was her second outing at Bristol, having finished 16th there last year.
“The banking [is similar to Dover] and you’re wrapped around by grandstands,” Breidinger said after practice and qualifying at the Last Great Colosseum. “It’s very hard to kind of tell where you are on the track — sometimes I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I’m in turn one or turn three and four.’ So it’s figuring out where you are, it’s kind of confusing the first few laps.”
Her first time behind the wheel of an ARCA machine came in 2018, when she made three starts for Venturini Motorsports. She then made some early-2021 appearances behind the wheel of a Young’s Motorsports car before returning to the Venturini stable, where she’s been since.
“It’s been really great working with them,” Breidinger said. “I think they’ve helped me a lot on my development, for sure. All the guys are really great to work with. […] It’s been going well.”
Last year, Breidinger partnered with Victoria’s Secret, in fact, exactly one year prior to when she talked with Frontstretch at Bristol. Breidinger modeled for the company and their logo appeared on her ARCA Toyota, and they primarily backed her TRICON truck for two of her three 2023 starts with a pink-and-black livery.
“It’s been really amazing working with [Victoria’s Secret],” she said. “They were on my truck for my debut, so it was really awesome to have a brand, that I really idolized and wanted to work with ever since I was little, be a part of such a big step for me and my career.
“So it was really awesome that they were willing to support me and really embrace my path.”
Breidinger also mentioned that her plans for 2024 are still in the works and have yet to be announced.
Prior to Bristol, Breidinger had recorded six straight top-10 finishes in the ARCA Menards Series. In her 13 overall starts in 2023 across the ARCA divisions, all but two results have been of 12th or better — and she hasn’t finished below that position in the past six months and counting (Phoenix in March).
Breidinger wants to take that momentum even further.
“I set goals last year, like I really want to get top 10s,” Breidinger said. “This year, the goal was top fives, and then once I got a top five I wasn’t as enthused. I was like, ‘I want a top three now.’
“And then I got a top three, and I was like ‘okay, that was it? I’m gonna go for the win.’ I feel like I’m always kind of setting that next goal, but I’m gonna try to still celebrate those moments even though it’s not a win. It’s still progress and baby steps.”
About the author
Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.
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