KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Frankie Muniz has gone from “Malcolm in the Middle,” to Frankie in the front. The former child actor is now leading the points race in NASCAR’s ARCA Menards series in his first season.
He’s hoping for his first ever trip to NASCAR’s Victory Lane this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
Adored by fans, photographed on the red carpet with Hollywood celebrities. That’s how most people know Muniz, star of the early 2000s FOX show “Malcolm in the Middle.”
Friday you could find him collaborating with his crew in the garage at Kansas Speedway ahead of Saturday’s Dawn 150.
“I have an insane amount to learn really really quickly this is my 8th oval race ever, 4th in the ARCA Menards series will be this weekend. every time I’m in the car it’s a new thing, today I was asking about what certain switches did . I still don’t know what the switches do,” Muniz said.
Muniz says child acting was one of several hobbies. In actuality, he wanted to be a garbage man.
After Hollywood he pursued driving but never reached NASCAR in his first attempt more than a decade ago. Now at age 37, and in his first ARCA season he’s competing with some drivers half his age.
“With my age, I want to make it to the highest level I want to be a Cup driver, if I want to do that I have to be very successful now this year in ARCA and keep progressing really quickly,” Muniz said.
Now as “Frankie in the Front,” he’s letting the moment soak in.
“The fact my name, even though we are only three races in , is at the top of that list with 64 other names below me I definitely screenshotted it and saved it,” Muniz said.
He’s also basking in the glory of being a bit of a celebrity on the racing circuit, this time for his driving skills.
“Jeff Gordon came up to me and was like ‘dude points leader.’ I talked to him for a while, that’s pretty cool,” Muniz smiled.