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One race can change everything: Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) jumped back on top of the ELITE 1 standings after winning the first Euro NASCAR Final at the iconic Circuit Zolder. The Israeli prevailed at the end of an intense battle against 2016 ELITE 2 Champion Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro), who finished second by 1.048 seconds.
ELITE 1: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE | QUALIFYING | FINAL 1 RESULTS
Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry) kept his title run alive by finishing third while Lucas Lasserre (#33 Mavi Mishumotors Chevrolet SS) and Loris Hezemans (#50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang) both took a big hit by being forced to retire when running in the top-5.
Day overtook Longin 12 laps into the 16-lap race after surrendering the lead to the Belgian at the first corner. The Israeli had then to defend his first place from the return of Longin, who put a lot of pressure on the defending champion. Day was able to sustain the pressure and grabbed the checkered flag.
“I don’t have words,” said Day after the intense duel with Longin. “It’s crazy winning this race. It was the fairest fight I’ve ever had and it was so much fun to drive. I knew that I was in a good position for the championship as Stienes is not part of the battle, but he was so quick and drove so good. He’s definitely going to be a contender next year. It’s nice to see drivers coming from ELITE 2 stepping up this way. I hope to start the next race well and keep the lead. It’s not gonna be easy as Stienes will start next to me but I will do my best.”
Longin, who was ninth in the overall standings before the first Final, led his first laps in ELITE 1 in what was arguably his best race in the top division.
“It was an awesome race,” said Longin, who finished second in front of his home crowd. “I overtook Alon at the start on the outside and grabbed the lead. After that he was pushing really hard. Later on he was just a little bit stronger and faster than me. It was not much but he was better. I’m a really happy with the race.”
Gabillon finished third after climbing his way up the ranking from the 5th place on the grid. The Frenchman moved up to second after the DNFs of Lasserre and Hezemans. Gabillon have has now to gain 14 points on Day in the ELITE 1 Final on Sunday.
“Alon took 12 points, so I’m 14 points behind now,” said Gabillon, who is motivated to get his first ever NASCAR Whelen Euro Series title on Sunday. “I have to win tomorrow. We will see what will happen but today it was a tough day for me. Something broke with 10 laps to go. I was scared to have to retire, too. I’m sorry for Loris, who broke something on the back of his car, and Lucas. Everything can happen here. For us, it’s not too bad of course.”
Lucas Lasserre had to retire due to a problem with his brakes. “I’m so disappointed and I don’t know what to say,” said Lasserre after the race. “I tried to pump the pedal to get the pressure back, but there was nothing I could do. It’s a shame to lose our chances like this.”
Hezemans suffered a mechanical problem and had to come back to the pits on lap 9.
Alexander Graff (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) ended up fourth, collecting his best result in his NWES debut season so far. Nicolò Rocca (#56 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) won the Junior Trophy by rounding out the top-5 ahead of Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang).
Christophe Bouchut (#66 Dexwet-DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro) was seventh ahead of Gianmarco Ercoli (#9 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang), Francesco Sini (#12 Solaris Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro) and Wilfried Boucenna (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang), who closed the top-10. Henri Tuomaala (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) won the Challenger Trophy ahead of Dario Caso (#8 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Fabrizio Armetta (#41 The Club Motorsports Ford Mustang) by finishing 16th.
The ELITE 1 will be back in action on Sunday at 3:10 pm CET. The championship is on the line with Day and Gabillon fighting for the title. The last race of the ELITE 1 season will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page, Youtube channel and Twitter profile, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.
NASCAR Euro Series PR
Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) smashed his own track record at Circuit Zolder on the way to his fourth pole position of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. The Israeli granted himself the best starting position among the four title contenders by clocking a lap of 1:38.086 around the 4-km Belgian track. Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) grabbed the pole position in the ELITE 2 Division on his home track as four title contenders ended up inside the top-8.
ELITE 1: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE | QUALIFYING
In the ELITE 1 Division, Day may have given himself a decisive advantage in the battle for the Euro NASCAR title as his rivals will start fourth, fifth and seventh in the ELITE 1 Final 1.
“It doesn’t matter that the other contenders are not at the top,” said Day, who scored his 4th consecutive pole position at Circuit Zolder and the 10th of his NASCAR career. “It only means that my team did a great job. We know that we are quick here at Zolder. The others have a chance to rebound so I have to focus on myself and get the job done. I will try to stay out of trouble and do the best I can.”
Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) will start next to Day in front of his home crowd. Alexander Graff (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) ended up third ahead of championship contenders Loris Hezemans (#50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry), who rounded out the top-5. Nicolo Rocca (#56 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) was sixth overall and second in the Junior Trophy in his return to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Championship leader Lucas Lasserre (#33 Mavi Mishumotors Chevrolet SS) will start from seventh position ahead of Junior Trophy driver and 2017 ELITE 2 champion Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang). Alex Sedgwick (#90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Christophe Bouchut (#66 Dexwet-DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro) completed the top-10. In the Challenger Trophy Henri Tuomaala (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) held off his teammate Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) thanks to the 15th spot on the grid.
Dumarey fastest in front of his home crowd
In the ELITE 2 Division Dumarey was fastest by clocking his best lap in 1:39.227 during the Superpole session. The Belgian beat Maciej Dreszer (#56 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) by 5 tenths of a second. Wilfried Boucenna (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) was third ahead of championship contender Florian Venturi (#32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang), who was the best Rookie Cup driver.
ELITE 2: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE | QUALIFYING
“It’s great, after the battle we had in Tours and after I had to skip the race at Hockenheim,” said Dumarey, who turned 32 yesterday. “I wanted to prove that I’m a top driver in the ELITE 2. This is our home track and that is an extra motivation for me and the whole team. We had some troubles this year and we decided to make something nice out of this weekend here at Zolder. We are on the right track and now we just have to finish.”
Felipe Rabello (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) rounded out the top-5 ahead of Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry), who sits second in the overall ELITE 2 standings. Championship leader Guillaume Deflandre (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) will start eighth behind Justin Kunz (#46 Racing Total Ford Mustang). Gil Linster (#44 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) and Pedro Bonnet (#90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) closed the top-10.
Visiting Canadian NASCAR Pinty’s Series driver Jean-Francois Dumoulin (#04 Spectra Premium RDV Competition Toyota Camry) was 14th quickest in his NASCAR Whelen Euro Series debut. Francesco Parli (#31 Race Art Technology / Blu Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro) was the fastest in the Legend Trophy in 16th place. Carmen Boix Gil (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) led the Lady Cup in qualifying by grabbing the 20th spot on the grid.
The great show of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will resume this afternoon with the Final 1 of both Divisions: the ELITE 1 will start at 2 pm while the green flag for the ELITE 2 will wave at 4:50 pm. The most anticipated races of the year at the iconic Circuit Zolder will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page, Youtube channel and Twitter profile, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.
NASCAR Euro Series PR
Toyota driver Sheldon Creed captured the ARCA Racing Series championship at Kansas Speedway when he made his first lap in practice ahead of the season finale event on Friday, October 19. Creed went on to capture his fourth win in 2018, closing out a banner year in his first full-time season.
“I thought we were out of it there and then a couple of other fast cars fell out,” said Creed post-race. “I got a good restart there at the end that kind of gave us control and then the guys tightened up the car there when I got tires there at the end. What a rocket ship that was. That was really fast at the end.”
A native of Alpine, California, Creed tallied a season-high 18 top-10 finishes in 20 events and won four races this season. Creed becomes the third Toyota driver to capture a driver’s championship this season as CJ Greaves (Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League Pro 4) and Tyler Ankrum (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) each captured their respective series titles.
“Sheldon is another talented young racer we’re fortunate to have racing with Toyota,” said Laura Pierce, motorsports general manager for Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). “After a year of strong finishes and multiple victories on the race track, we’re proud to add Sheldon’s name to a growing list of Toyota champions in 2018 and look forward to seeing what’s to come for this young man in the future.”
Earlier this year, Toyota clinched the ARCA manufacturer’s championship and finished the season with a combined 18 race wins.
Drew Herring will start on the pole at Kansas Speedway on Friday for the Kansas ARCA 150. Herring, driving the No. 19 NOS-ORCA Coolers Toyota, posted a 29.828, 181.038 mph. in the 20-minute group qualifying session.
Herring makes his first start in the series since 2009 at Rockingham Speedway and will start on his first career pole. In two career starts, Herring’s best finish was a 16th at Rockingham.
2018 ARCA Racing Series Champion Sheldon Creed will start second on the leaderboard. Creed, holding out to make a run late in the session, posted a 29.936, 180.385 mph. The driver led the abbreviated practice session earlier this morning at the 1.5-mile oval.
Harrison Burton rounded out the top three starters for the Kansas ARCA 150. Burton, piloting the No. 12 Dex Imaging Toyota on Friday, posted a 29.940, 180.361 mph. to earn the third place starting spot.
Codie Rohrbaugh and Riley Herbst round out the top five starters.
Todd Gilliland, Gus Dean, Michael Self, Zane Smith and Chase Purdy filled the top 10.
The Kansas ARCA 150 will go green at 8:30 p.m. ET. live on FOX Sports 2.
Sheldon Creed paced the one and only ARCA Racing Series practice on Friday at Kansas Speedway. Creed, driving the No. 28 United Rentals Toyota in the season finale, posted a 30.131, 179.217 mph. in the abbreviated practice session.
Codie Rohrbaugh sat runner-up in the one and only practice session at the 1.5-mile oval. Rohrbaugh posted a 30.241 seconds and enters Kansas Speedway making his eighth start of the year.
Drew Herring rounded out the top three in the practice session cut short for a heavy mist. Herring posted a 30.567, 176.661 mph in the No. 19 NOS-ORCA Coolers Toyota. The North Carolina native last ran an ARCA Racing Series event in 2009 at Rockingham Speedway where he finished 18th.
Harrison Burton and Zane Smith rounded out the top five.
Todd Gilliland, Riley Herbst, Chase Purdy, previous Kansas winner Michael Self and Anthony Alfredo rounded out the top 10.
The ARCA Racing Series will go qualifying at 6:05 p.m. ET. with the race at 8:30 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 2.
The 2018 Finals of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, the most anticipated weekend of the year, started today with two practice sessions for each NWES Division. Reigning champion and title contender Alon Day (#56 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry), currently second in points, clocked the fastest lap in Final Practice at the iconic Circuit Zolder around the 4 km of the Belgian track in 1:38.927, just 0.071 seconds shy of his 2015 track record. Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) led the ELITE 2 field thanks to a lap in 1:39.762, set in the afternoon session.
ELITE 1: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE
Day edged championship contender and Junior Trophy leader Loris Hezemans (#50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang) by 0.150 seconds. The Dutchman sits fourth in the ELITE 1 standings, only 12 points far from the leader. Another of the four contenders, Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry) finished third with a 3 tenths gap to fill in qualifying. Stienes Longin (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) and Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) rounded out the top-5.
Christophe Bouchut (#66 Dexwet-DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro) returned to the wheel of the #66 Camaro and was sixth ahead of Alexander Graff (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and points leader Lucas Lasserre (#33 Mavi Mishumotors Chevrolet SS). Marc Goossens (#91 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Alex Sedgwick (#90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) completed the top-10.
ELITE 2: Dumarey fastest on his home track
On the day of his birthday, Dumarey set the fastest time in the ELITE 2 Division, clocking his best lap in 1:39.762. Currently second in points, Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry) ended up behind Dumarey by a margin of 0.303 seconds. Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) edged championship leader Guillaume Deflandre (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) for third. Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) rounded out the top-5.
ELITE 2: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE
Maciej Dreszer (#56 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) was sixth in his NASCAR Whelen Euro Series comeback. The Polish edged Felipe Rabello (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro), Justin Kunz (#46 Racing Total Ford Mustang), Wilfried Boucenna (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) and Tom Boonen (#91 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) who closed the top-10. The Ford Mustang of championship contender Florian Venturi (#32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang) suffered damage on the right front end in a contact with Dreszer. The Frenchman ended up eleventh quickest.
The great show of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will resume tomorrow with the qualifying session, scheduled at 9:50 am, and the Final 1 of both Divisions: the ELITE 1 will start at 2 pm while the green flag for the ELITE 2 will wave at 4:50 pm. The most anticipated races of the year at the iconic Circuit Zolder will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page, Youtube channel and Twitter profile, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.
NASCAR Euro Series PR
On the heels of back-to-back top-10 finishes in his most recent ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races at Chicagoland Speedway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Codie Rohrbaugh and his Grant County Mulch Racing team head to Kansas Speedway hoping to close out their ARCA season with a top-five finish in Friday night’s Kansas ARCA 150.
From two strong performances in ARCA to a successful NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in Aug., the Mooresville, N.C. team returns to ARCA competition hoping to continue an impressive season fluid with speed and solid results.
In seven ARCA starts this season, Rohrbaugh has maneuvered four top-10 finishes in the last five starts including a season-high and career-best seventh-place result in the rain-shortened ModSpace 150 at Pocono.
Now, the 24-year-old returns to the 1.5-mile speedway of Kansas Speedway hoping to improve on his eighth-place result in last year’s season finale.
“Can’t wait to get to Kansas Speedway this weekend,” said Rohrbaugh. “It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve raced ARCA, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for us. It’s allowed us most of the mid-summer and fall to get ready for Kansas and attack.”
Rohrbaugh will make his third start at Kansas in his familiar No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet and while his family-owned team is expected to carry the speed through practice and qualifying, the Petersburg, West Virginia native knows it’s going to be important to stay relevant through the season-finale’s 100 laps.
“I think this is the coldest it will be at Kansas in two years and that will be a factor on Friday during practice, qualifying and the race,” he said.
“It’s going to be fun though. We have a lot to be proud of this season. We haven’t come to the track where we weren’t prepared to run competitively inside the top-10.
“We’re still hunting our first top-five finish together and I think we’re on the verge of that, we just need a little luck. This isn’t our last race of the season and it typically has been in the past.
“We still have a Truck Series race or two planned before the end of the year – so this race is good motivation to get back into a routine to get back towards the end of 2018 and focus ahead on 2019.”
As for next year, Rohrbaugh says they will be racing.
“It’s the plan to be back in ARCA next year, just how many races though is still be determined,” he explained. “We’ve bought some trucks and have expanded our horizons to NASCAR with some success to start. We’ll keep going in that direction, but (we) definitely know that the ARCA Series has some good races to offer and if we can make it work, we’ll be back in some capacity.”
In 17 career ARCA starts, Rohrbaugh has a best finish of seventh at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (July 2018) after starting a career-best seventh in the same event.
Codie Rohrbaugh PR
For Sheldon Creed, racing and winning has been a part of life from a very early age.
Creed, driver of the MDM Motorsports No. 28 United Rentals Toyota, clinched the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship when he took to the track for practice at the season finale at Kansas Speedway. Like many others who came before him, he started his racing career on two wheels. He started racing BMX when he was three, and he started winning championships when he was just eight. He's thrown in an X-Games gold medal along the way, too.
After dominating in BMX by the time he was six years old, and winning championships, he was ready for the next challenge. At eight, he had transitioned to four wheels, and to no one's surprise, was still winning races and championships.
Creed found inspiration by a driver who was from the same part of southern California, a driver who just happened to have had a family connection.
"I was a big Jimmie Johnson fan," Creed said. "Jimmie was from the same area I was, and my grandfather and his dad were really good friends. When Jimmie was winning the five championships in a row, I was a teenager and just thought it was super cool someone we talked about, who was a name in our house, was winning all those races and championships."
By the time he was 15, he was already an established star in the Speed Energy Formula Off-Road series, formerly known as the Robby Gordon Stadium Super Trucks. That year, he became the youngest ever winner in that form of racing, and the next season he finished second in the series championship with three wins and nine podium finishes. The following year, in 2015, he became the series' youngest ever champion with nine wins. He also won the gold medal at the X Games in Austin, Texas.
Creed spent a lot of time around former Cup Series driver Robby Gordon, the owner and promoter of the Formula Off-Road series.
"Robby is a great teacher. He teaches you all of the things you shouldn't do," Creed said with a big laugh. "It was a great few years racing with him and I did learn a lot. Being so competitive with him raised my expectations for the next step."
In 2016, Creed started to transition into full-fendered stock car competition. He competed in a diverse schedule of pro late model, ARCA, Trans Am, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck, and NASCAR XFINITY Series events.
The transition to stock car racing wasn't always smooth. Creed, who first tested an ARCA car at Kansas Speedway the day of his 18th birthday, struggled to find the balance on asphalt.
"On dirt, it's just you and the car," he said. "If the car isn't right, it's up to you to adjust to it. In stock cars, the car can be changed so it's up to the driver to learn what the car is doing and learn how to communicate that to the crew chief. I've learned a lot about that the past two years running in ARCA and I will keep learning that for years to come."
The success in the early part of his career raised his expectations for success in stock cars.
"I really thought coming into ARCA I would have the same kind of success I had elsewhere," Creed said. "I expected it. And when I didn't get it right away, it make me dislike stock cars a little bit. It's a lot harder than most people think it is."
In 2017, he joined MDM Motorsports for a limited ARCA and NKNSPE schedule. He finished a season-best third at both Iowa and Kentucky before reloading for a full run in 2018.
His 2018 season has been consistently solid. He picked up his first career ARCA win at Michigan in June, and then followed it in short order with wins at Gateway and Iowa. By mid-summer he had established himself as the driver to beat for the championship, and he entered the final event of the season needing just to make a lap in practice to clinch the series championship.
"I am not going to get emotional about it or anything like that," Creed said. "Right now, it's just the next goal that I need to accomplish. But I am sure that five or ten years down the road, I will look back on it and see my name listed with the other drivers who have won the ARCA championship and think to myself "that was pretty cool"."
Creed, like many ARCA champions before him, aspires to make the jump into NASCAR competition on a full-time basis in the near future. He will run the final four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races of 2018 for GMS Racing, the team that won the 2015 ARCA Racing Series championship with driver Grant Enfinger. Coincidentally, Creed's 2018 championship run was with crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz, who was also at the helm of Enfinger's 2015 title run.
But becoming a successful stock car driver isn't without its compromises. Creed has been forced to give up one of his biggest passions.
"I started racing on dirt bikes, but I haven't been on one in two years," he said. "I had to give it up because no one wants me to get hurt doing it. Growing up, all of my heroes rode dirt bikes. Guys like (Travis) Pastrana and (Jeremy) McGrath. They were gnarly. As soon as they tell me I can ride again, I am going to."
ARCA Racing PR
The Euro NASCAR Finals got started on Thursday with the ELITE Club Division and Advait Deodhar (#27 BVR Motorsport Ford Mustang) won the race and the championship at the legendary Circuit Zolder. The 28-year-old Indian was the most consistent driver throughout season and celebrated surrounded by fans in downtown Zolder after receiving the big trophy. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series parade brought over 30 cars in the heart of Heusden-Zolder as a traditional feature of the NWES Finals at the famous Belgian track.
“It’s pretty awesome, it doesn’t hit me yet, so I need to pinch myself,” said the second ever ELITE Club champion. “It’s unbelievable as I was coming back to racing after a break of three years. It’s the first time for me in European racing and I am the champion! It’s a dream come true. Zolder is one of the coolest tracks in the schedule of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. It has the ups and downs and it’s a really challenging.”
In 2019 Deodhar will take the next step as he plans to race the full ELITE 2 season with Dexwet-DF1 Racing. “I’m going to fight for the championship,” said the Indian. “Mark my words, I’m going to be in the top 3 in the ELITE 2 in 2019. Mark my words, I’m gonna make that happen. I’m back to racing and I’m not going to step back again. I race to win and that’s my goal next year.”
Clemens Sparowitz (#99 Dexwet-DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro) ended up second in the overall standings of the ELITE Club Division, which provides new drivers with the perfect way to take their first steps in Euro NASCAR in a friendly and controlled environment. The Austrian beat the former and inaugural ELITE Club Champion Andreas Kuchelbacher (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry), who finished third in 2018.
Deodhar also grabbed the race win at Circuit Zolder by leading both two timed sessions. Giovanni Trione (#31 Race Art Technology / Blu Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro), son of ELITE 1 driver Mauro Trione, ended up second in his second ever start in the ELITE Club Division while Pol van Pollaert (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) rounded out the top 3 in his first ever start.
It’s now time for the ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 Division to take the track. The most anticipated races of the year at the iconic Circuit Zolder will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page, Youtube channel and Twitter profile, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.
NASCAR Euro Series PR