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Felipe Rabello (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) led just two laps in the ELITE 2 Round 5 at Raceway Venray, but they were the most important ones: the last two of the Green-White-Checkered finish that gave him his first ever NASCAR win as a rookie in his oval racing debut.
It was a great battle between two rookies, both vying for their first win in NASCAR. The Brazilian snatched the lead from polesitter Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), who led just about every lap from the start of the race until he spun his tires on the final restart in overtime. Rabello was quick to take the lead and grab the checkered flag at the end of an exciting race, filled with great side-by-side action throughout the field.
Rabello crossed the finish line with a .441 seconds advantage over his PK Carsport rival. Ulysse Delsaux (#3 RDV Compétition Toyota Camry) battled for second in the first part of the race, but had to surrender to Rabello in a restart with 30 laps to go and ended up third.
Jumping out of the race car in victory lane, Rabello said “I love NASCAR! What an amazing race!” In his post-race interview, Rabello was still ecstatic about his first ever NASCAR win. “These oval tracks are great to race on! I really want to thank my team for giving me such a fast race car! I’m so happy! I can’t believe I won the race! I really didn’t expect to win here today. It was my first time on an oval and the car was perfect. The team did such a fantastic job. I really have to thank them and the entire CAAL Racing organization for this opportunity.” Describing the final restart, Rabello said, “The 24 car didn’t have as good a restart. When the green flag dropped, I punched the gas and my car took off. I think I heated my tires better during the previous lap and it gave me the better traction I needed for the restart. I still can’t believe I won!”
On his second place finish, Dumarey said, “Finishing in second place is definitely disappointing, especially after leading almost the entire race. We had a really fast car and it handled really nice. The team did a great job at setting up the car for this oval track. At one point in the race, I was leading by several car lengths. I really didn’t want to see that caution but that’s racing. I’m not going to lose any sleep tonight, I’ll be back tomorrow and will be racing for that win!”
Polish rookie Maciej Dreszer (#66 DF1 Racing Team Chevrolet SS) won a hard fought battle for fourth edging Marconi De Abreu (#47 Brazil Team Toyota Camry), points leader Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) and Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang).
Jerry De Weerdt (#78 Brass Racing Ford Mustang) won the Legend Trophy with the eighth place, while Justin Kunz (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) and Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) were respectively ninth and tenth under the checkered flag.
Arianna Casoli (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) led the Lady Cup classification and finished second in the Legend Trophy by finishing just outside the top-10 in eleventh place.
The ELITE 2 Round 6 will go green on Sunday at 10:30 CET and will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Facebook page.