Frankie Muniz Makes The Switch From Acting To Racing With NASCAR Debut video screenshot. Ty Stover / Twitter

Actor Frankie Muniz, best known for his role in the hit TV show Malcolm in the Middle and the film Agent Cody Banks, has announced that he will be competing as a full-time race car driver in the ARCA Menards Series.

This is a low-level feeder series for NASCAR that typically features less experienced drivers and will serve as the starting point for Muniz’s stock-car career.


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The 37-year-old actor got behind the wheel of the No. 30 Ford for Rette Jones Racing during a test session at Daytona International Speedway and said, “I wanted this my entire life.”

Muniz’s first of 20 scheduled races in 2023 will take place at Daytona on February 18th.

“I want to prove to people that like I’m here to take it seriously,” Muniz said, according to KCCI. “I’m not just here for a fluke. I’m not just here for publicity. I wanted this my entire life, you know what I mean? I’m mad I waited 12 years after my last racing experience to get here. I want people to look at me and see me on track and go, ‘Wow, he belongs,’ and I’m ready to prove to everyone that I do. Hopefully I do.”


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A longtime racing enthusiast, Muniz drove the pace car for the 2001 Daytona 500, a race in which seven-time Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt was killed on the final lap.

Muniz said Earnhardt signed his jacket before the race and even told him how much he loved Malcolm in the Middle.

“He said, ‘Your show has brought me and my daughter so much closer together. I love your show,'” Muniz recalled. “And it was like insane to me that Dale Earnhardt is telling me that.”


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Muniz has long been a racing enthusiast and first started thinking about becoming a professional driver in 2004 after competing in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, California.

He’s also raced in Formula BMW events as well as the Champ Car Atlantic Series. His last full-time season came in 2009.

Instead of getting back in a race car immediately, he became the drummer of the indie rock band Kingsfoil. More recently, he married Paige Price and they had a son in 2021.

Muniz decided he wanted to race again and said, “That’s what I’ve always said I felt like I was the most comfortable doing. … Realistically I’m old to be getting started in the racing world,” he said. “But in that same sense, it motivates me that I’ve got to take advantage of the opportunity I have today. I don’t have time to wait. So hopefully that helps the progression, go a little quicker because I have the motivation. I’m in the right mindset.”

He expects plenty of Malcolm in the Middle jokes during races, so much so that he’s considering making T-shirts to sell at events.

“I’m going to capitalize on that before someone else does,” he said.

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