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Gio Ruggiero Lands 16-Race ARCA Deal With Venturini Motorsports

17-year-old racer Gio Ruggiero, who impressed mightily on the short track circuit in 2023, will move to Venturini Motorsports to compete full-time in the ARCA Menards Series East in 2024.

Additionally, Ruggiero will run select events in the main ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series West divisions as well.

According to a story from ARCARacing.com, Ruggiero will be paired with crew chief Shannon Rusch for the 2024 ARCA season.

The young racer, who hails from Sekonk, MA, made his ARCA Menards Series East debut in 2023 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. In a race that saw 15 cars take the green flag, Ruggiero started an impressive second and finished in fourth-place behind some truly big names in the short track world.

Ruggiero was a full-time competitor in the ASA STARS National Tour in 2023. Over the 10-race schedule, Ruggiero scored two victories, including a win over NASCAR Cup Series star William Byron at Hickory Motor Speedway in late May.

The racer also scored a defining win in the prestigious Winchester 400 this season, in a finish that drew the ire of Stephen Nasse.

Overall, Ruggiero would lead 201 laps during the ASA STARS National Tour season and would finish third in the championship standings behind Ty Majeski and Cole Butcher.

While short track racing is Ruggiero’s bread and butter, he’ll have to learn how to compete on road courses such as Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International as well as Kansas Speedway, a 1.5-mile intermediate oval. Those tracks are on his 2024 schedule away from the ARCA East Series.

“Running races on the bigger tracks will be something new for me,” Ruggiero said in the interview with ARCA. “I’ll have to learn a lot about aero for sure. I’m not very familiar with that, but I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can and hopefully chase some wins on the bigger tracks.”

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