Murillo Racing is off to a strong start in 2019, including two overall wins in Pirelli GT4 America Sprint competition with driver Matt Fassnacht.
This week in the Pirelli Paddock Pass, team co-owner Kenny Murillo fills us in on Fassnacht’s hot start, the development of their TC America program with driver Moisey Uretsky, his own background, and more.
How has your role with Murillo Racing changed over the years?
“I’ve always been the behind the scenes growing up. My dad is incredibly succesful and I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to learn from him.
“I’ve been interested in the business since I can remember. I was always going to the shop.
“This SRO program that we started in 2016 was a really small program with our Mazda MX-5. We brought a little cardboard box with some tools just to try it out. We really enjoyed it and we were succesful so we wanted to expand.
“I found that as an opportunity to step more into an ownership role and take on more responsibilities of owning a team.
“Right now I’m mainly the data engineer for the team, and then I help with race strategy and I co-own it with my father.”
What are your earliest memories of being at the race track?
“It goes way back to pictures of me running around the paddock as a little kid, but I’d say my earliest memory was back when we started doing the SCCA Runoffs when that was really popular.
“My dad and I would travel around. And when we first started the MX-5 Cup program, that’s when I first started going to the track with my dad.”
What is your long term goal with the team?
“Murillo Racing has been a big part of the motorsports landscape, especially in sports cars. We made a big footprint in other series, winning multiple championships.
“With SRO, we want to do the same thing. We have a winning program, we know what it takes to win in many different categories and classes, and we want to take that to the SRO.
“We want to make a big statement that Murillo can do anything that we set our minds to and bring good results for our drivers.”
How has the 2019 season gone relative to your preseason expectations?
“Our Sprint category race was a last minute deal, we just through it out there for Matt. We thought he’d be really competitive, and it turns out he was.
“It worked out for us. Our SprintX program, we’ve had higher expectations then what we’ve had on the results sheets.
“We feel like we could have won or done well in all of the races that we’ve entered if not for a little bad luck.
“Our expectations were to run up front, top-three in every race. We come to the race track to win overall, we don’t mind about the classes. When we got third at COTA, that was a big step forward from our results from last year.
“And on the TC side, Moisey puts in a lot of work for these weekends and it shows. He does a lot of other racing that prepared him. He did a really good job at VIR of capitalizing on other people’s mistakes.
“The BMW is new to him and he’s put a lot of time and effort into learning the car quickly. He’s done an amazing job.”
What are your expectations for CTMP this weekend?
“We found out that the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is not too bad at CTMP. We were a little intimidated by the long back straight and the current BoP.
“We are more of a momentum-based car and we like rolling the high speed through corners, and anything in the lower gears is pretty bad for us.
“As for expectations, we come to the race track to win every race. We wouldn’t show up to the race track otherwise. Our expectations are at least a podium.”