Friday’s 9:30 pm CET (3:30 pm ET) first practice session for the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway will mark Anthony Kumpen’s debut in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The defending NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion will drive the #15 Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Rick Ware Racing.
Kumpen is poised to take this new step of his NASCAR career in the context of the Nexteer Road To Daytona program.
“It will be a first under many aspects. The competitive level is incredibly high, it will be my longest NASCAR race ever, there will be plenty of action and I will also make my first pit-stop ever on oval. Definitely a lot to learn, but I’m really looking forward to it,” said the 36-year-old Hasselt-native, who will also take part in the last two races of the NASCAR XFINITY Series calendar at Phoenix and Homestead in November. “I want to log as many miles as possible. Finishing the race would be positive to gain as much experience as possible.”
The Belgian had a first taste of his 3450 lbs, 650hp NASCAR XFINITY Series car Wednesday in a test that left him eager to get back behind the wheel on the 3/4-mile long banked oval in Newton, Iowa.
“I like the feeling I had with the car and the tires during this brief test. It has a lot of power and a very good throttle response, while being heavier than what we’re used to in Europe. Feeling the car in the corners is fundamental,” continued Kumpen.
The U.S. Cellular 250 will be the first national series race of the Nexteer Road To Daytona program, the joint venture between NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and Nexteer Automotive giving top NWES drivers the chance to compete in the US.
“Just being here is a fantastic opportunity and it’s thanks NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Nexteer and my sponsors Leaseplan, EL Systems and Keupers Tankstations. This is really special to me.”
The U.S. Cellular 250 is scheduled August 1st at 8 pm ET (2 am CET) and will be broadcasted live on NBCSN. Qualifying will take place on the same day at 4:45 pm ET (8:45 pm CET).
ABOUT NASCAR WHELEN EURO SERIES
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was founded in 2008 and established the NASCAR official European Series in January 2012 thanks to a long-term partnership signed with NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), Team FJ, a Motorsports company located in Blois, France, and Whelen Engineering as title sponsor of the Series.The season is made up of 24 races, equally split among ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 divisions, on the best European tracks. Euro NASCAR introduced a stunning innovation on July 7-8, 2012 by organizing the first ever NASCAR race on an oval track in Europe on a half-mile speedway built in the downtown of Tours (France). With four races in two days, these 400 HP V8 monsters provide pure racing action and thrilling bumper-to-bumper battles as well as a lot of family fun around the track! In the pure NASCAR tradition, race fans can get closer to the action than ever and feel the unique in Europe paddock atmosphere thanks to drivers, teams and cars always available for the spectators.The series attracts drivers from all over the world, all willing to fight on track for the win and take the first step towards becoming a NASCAR star in the U.S.