Race Weekend Central

Here’s Where Frankie Muniz Could Drive in 2024

With the completion of the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season, Frankie Muniz has concluded his rookie season, his first in a stock car to boot.

The 37-year-old actor-turned-racecar driver finished fourth in the series standings with one top five and 11 top 10s.

Muniz’s season was highlighted by his fifth-place showing at Michigan International Speedway, but his season also was marred by six DNFs and only seven lead-lap finishes out of the 20-race season.

Muniz has been the subject of silly season rumors, as far back as Father’s Day weekend at Berlin Raceway.

Following the ARCA season finale at Toledo Speedway, Muniz told sports reporter Casey Campbell, “I do know what my plans are. I don’t know when we’ll be announcing it officially. … We want to make sure that when we do make the announcement, that we have all our ducks in a row and all that. So it’ll be sooner than later but more later than sooner.”

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Christian Rose Returning to AM Racing's ARCA Seat in 2024

One thing is for certain: Muniz will not return to Rette Jones Racing full time in ARCA in 2024, team owner Mark Rette confirmed to Frontstretch. That does not mean Muniz will not be in an ARCA racecar in 2024, though. He previously said in a NASCAR Roots YouTube video that he plans to be in ARCA in 2024.

Rette affirmed Muniz’s statement, adding, “I know he’s working on things. We’ve had conversations about him coming back and doing the speedway races, about 8-10 races. With the possibilities of what lies for him in the future, as soon as the dominoes start falling there, we’ll keep working away to fulfill he’s going to do 8-10 speedway, 1.5-mile races.

“It is going to depend on sponsorship, the same as we fought all year long. So as long as that materializes, there’s the possibility that he runs the speedway and 1.5-mile portion of the schedule.”

Although Muniz will likely be in the No. 30 Ford in 2024 in ARCA in some races, he will also likely compete in the NASCAR national ranks. Two teams, sources have told Frontstretch, have emerged as the frontrunners for Muniz in 2024.

RSS Racing

NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran Ryan Sieg could have Muniz as a teammate for the full 2024 Xfinity season, sources have reported. Sieg’s family-owned RSS organization is under the Ford banner. Muniz himself is a Ford ambassador. A Ford representative informed Frontstretch that Muniz is signed as an ambassador driver, meaning his team receives “middle of the ground” funding from the manufacturer. That was indeed the case in 2023 when Ford stepped up its support of RJR, resulting in Ford itself oftentimes onboard the hood of Muniz’s No. 30.

RSS told Frontstretch that it plans on fielding three entries in 2024, with Ryan and Kyle Sieg in two of the cars. Kyle Sieg has contested the majority of the 2023 Xfinity season and he has 46 career starts to date.

The organization has fielded the Nos. 28, 38 and 39 full time in 2023. Ryan has primarily driven the No. 39 and Kyle in the No. 28. As such, Muniz’s most likely racecar number in 2024 with RSS would be the No. 38.

RSS did not deny it has talked with Muniz about 2024, though Muniz has been rumored in connection to many different rides.

Muniz also said that he might make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in 2024. At Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, he reiterated to Frontstretch that he has an offer to join a Ford Truck team. That team, sources indicated, most likely is …

ThorSport Racing

Yes, ThorSport, which currently has two drivers still alive in the playoffs, has been linked to Muniz. This rumor ties into the team having an open seat due to Hailie Deegan departing to the Xfinity Series with AM Racing.

At IRP, a team spokesperson said the team had not begun discussions about its 2024 driver lineup yet. That conversation with Frontstretch took place on Aug. 11, two months ago. Clearly things have changed, as the No. 13 has a vacancy for next year. The team did not reply to a request for comment from Frontstretch for this story.

Muniz is one of two favorites to join the Sandusky, Ohio-based team. The other is another driver who drove for ThorSport in 2023 and participated in some ARCA events: Conner Jones.

Jones will turn 18 on Feb. 22, six days after the Trucks 2024 season begins at Daytona International Speedway. He has made eight Truck starts in 2023, scoring his best finish of 15th in his most recent race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Jones has funding, too. His father Robert Jones is the founder of Jones Utilities Construction, Inc., the company that has often sponsored him in ARCA.

While Jones has been tied to ThorSport, he appears likely to only run part time for the team in 2024, an individual with knowledge of the situation told Frontstretch.

Therefore, Muniz could join both RSS and ThorSport in 2024, splitting the No. 13 with Jones.

Is Muniz truly ready to move up, though? He is double the age of 2023 ARCA champion Jesse Love, so time is not on his side. Unfortunately, Muniz’s foray into racing truly began this year. So he has only 20 career ARCA starts compared to Love, who has 85 starts across the ARCA series. Furthermore, Muniz has zero wins and zero laps led. Love has two ARCA Menards Series West championships, the 2023 main series title and 18 total victories, not to mention over 1,800 laps led in 2023 alone.

See also
ARCA Power Rankings: Jesse Love Wraps Up 2023 In 1st

Rette attested that Muniz has the determination to succeed as a racecar driver, but he still needs more development.

“It was great to have Frankie in a car to teach him what he needs to be taught in a very short amount of time was great,” Rette said. “I still feel like he needs more development, but obviously time’s not on his side. Everything is situational. So at the end of the day, it was great to have him, but when you get into these deals and you unfortunately do not have that type of experience, you need to do this for a couple of years, not just one. That’s OK. He did a good job.

“Frankie’s got the determination to do it. So different, though, right? Look at Jesse Love. At the beginning of the year, we were leading the points. Everybody was like, ‘Frankie Muniz is going to win the championship.’ You have to be a realist, and I am. Love has about 50 ARCA starts. He’s racing in something every week. You cannot buy that kind of ability. For budgetary reasons, Frankie wasn’t able to do so. I don’t care if we hit a home run every race, it was going to be hard to beat Love.

“Love, Ty Gibbs and Sammy Smith all had three years in ARCA. You’re not going to beat that. You’re not going to do that without putting the reps via laps in. Frankie puts the work in and does it, but the problem is not being in a racecar enough.”

In 2024, Muniz is poised to substantially increase his laps in a racecar, running full time in NASCAR and part time in ARCA.

About the author

Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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WJW Motorsports

Apples and oranges trying to compare Frankie and Jesse – but best wishes to both. Frankie had some issues but I’ve seen far worse in far better series/equipment and he certainly performed well considering his experience level.

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