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Reigning NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion Anthony Kumpen will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017 thanks to the Nexteer Road to Daytona program. He benefited from the prize awarded by NWES for his 2016 title to help him building this campaign which will include at least two races at the wheel of the #46 LeasePlan Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Precision Performance Motorsports at Daytona and at Mid-Ohio.
Before engaging in his European title defense campaign in Valencia in April, Kumpen will race for the second time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener on February 25 at the world famous Daytona International Speedway, the day before the mythic Daytona 500. In 2016, the Belgian finished a solid 26th in his first ever outing on the 2.5-mile oval, engaging in door-to-door battles with some of the best NASCAR drivers in America.
“Daytona is the biggest event in NASCAR. I can’t wait to be back and I want to thank Leaseplan, all my partners, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and its Nexteer Road to Daytona program for making this happen,” said the Belgian, who joined the program built by NWES and Nexteer following his championship season in 2014. “Last year I had to learn a lot – especially about racing in the pack and drafting – in a very short time. This time we will build on the experience as a team and work to make the car faster and do better each and every lap. I would be really happy to finish in the top-15.”
“Anthony is a 2-time European NASCAR Champion and definitely a very talented driver behind the wheel, but also outside the car. We are very proud to support him in his US program and feel very lucky to have such a great ambassador for our Series,” said Jerome Galpin, NWES President - CEO
During the NWES summer break Kumpen will return to the US to enter his first NASCAR Xfinity Series road course race on August 12 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The two-time Euro-NASCAR Champion aims to capitalize on his road course experience and success to bring home a strong result.
“I am really looking forward to my first race on a road course. I have a lot of experience and the right team to set the bar high and aim for a top-10 finish,” said the Hasselt-native, who won five times on road courses in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, three of which in 2016.
Kumpen will also join the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series organization for the January 21-22 Race Of Champions at the Miami Marlins Park to help set up the NWES cars for the world-famous offseason event.
“It’s great to be able to support the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at this event and I look forward to get back in our NWES cars,” concluded the Belgian. “The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is growing fast. I am sure the 2017 season will be tougher than ever, but that’s what makes it so exciting: going for the the third title against such a competitive field and helping NASCAR grow in Europe”.
The Feb 25 NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway will go green at 9:30 pm CET, while the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will kick off in Valencia on April 8-9 with the third edition of the Valencia NASCAR Fest.