(Photo: Adam Fenwick/NASCAR)
Landon Huffman is making the jump from the birthplace of NASCAR Stars to the World Center of Racing later this month.
Hoffman, 26, of Claremont, North Carolina, will turn his first lap around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway Jan. 13-14 when the ARCA Menards Series returns to the famous supertrack for its annual pre-race practice.
Heading to Daytona with the most famous Mullins Racing remove from its first NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Division I Championship at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Cats out of the bag@tweet Joins the team for 2023 ARCA_Racing test session in @tweet This January. @tweet pic.twitter.com/lEMAuY3kPV
– Mullins Racing (@mullins_racing) November 22, 2022
“I never thought I’d be doing the rounds in Daytona, so it’s just incredible,” Hoffman said. who has two former ARCA Menards Series starts during his career. “It’s every short-track racer’s dream to run laps at Daytona. My dad had a quote, which I use on my podcast as part of my intro, that after his first race at Daytona he said, ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re racing a go-kart, Or a slot car, or a crosswalk, I won at Daytona.”
Huffman claimed his first championship at Hickory Motor Speedway in September. His father, Robert Hoffman, won two championships at Hickory in the late 1980s before winning five in the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series.
“I’ve wanted a championship at Hickory since I started my driving career in 2010,” said Huffman. “My dad won two of them and went on to do even bigger things. Having my name on the wall next to his is an achievement I feel very proud of. I grew up racing at Hickory, my dad saw him run many races there, and he watched my grandfather race there many times too. It’s a family tradition and I Proud to keep moving forward.”
Husband and wife, co-owners of Mullins Racing Willie and Dinah Mullins, came to Hickory Motor Speedway last summer to watch Huffman race. They became fast friends and the two soon reached an agreement for Hoffman to drive one of Mullins Racing’s cars at Daytona in ARCA pre-race practice.
“I was friends online with Dinah and Willie,” Hoffman recalled. “They came down and watched me race at Hickory, we got down to the pits and we really hit it off. I really respect how they race, we can relate on so many levels, depending on the money we spend versus our competitors, they are a family team and they do a lot of that themselves, a lot of respect Mutual. They’ve done a great job building their program. Anytime I get to work with people like that, it’s a good opportunity.”
Hoffman hopes to compete in a few ARCA Menards Series races for Mullins Racing sometime this season.
“You never know what might happen,” Hoffman said. “There is a chance we have to cancel a race or two but it is a matter of financing. If we stay on the right track there may be some opportunities that come up, but we are just going to take it one step at the moment.”
In addition to being a race car driver, Hoffmann also has a large social media presence. This includes a popular YouTube channel where he chronicles his life as a weekly contestant.
“I haven’t done a podcast in a few years, and I just started one called Huffman Racing Radio and it’s going really well,” Huffman explained. “My YouTube channel helps me get sponsors and I tie all my content efforts together. Last season was my first full year of vlogging and I’ve grown from over 2,000 subscribers to over 15,000 now and over 1.5 million views in 2022. We’re leading the charge.” Things are on the short-track front when it comes to YouTube content. I’ve sold a lot of merchandise and brought in some new partners.”
Huffman is one of five drivers who will be driving for Mullins Racing during ARCA pre-race practice at Daytona in January, and Willie Mullins, who finished second at Daytona in 2018, is excited to have Huffman as part of the team.
In addition to Huffman, Willie Mullins, Kayla Surles and Brayton Luster will join Mullins Racing for Daytona pre-race practice, with a fifth driver yet to be confirmed.
“We are very excited to bring Landon into the fold,” said Mullins. “The group of drivers we have assembled is not only great on track, but also great off the track. We embrace big personalities, and this class is not lacking in this department. Each of our drivers has created their own amazing online presence.”
ARCA Menards Series pre-race practice is scheduled to take place at Daytona International Speedway January 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST each day.