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Fresh off a spectacular NASCAR Whelen Euro Series win at Brands Hatch, Alon Day was impressive in his first ever practice day in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the wheel of the #23 EarthWater BK Racing Toyota Camry.
In his very first time at the wheel of a Cup car and his very first laps on the Sonoma Raceway road course among the best NASCAR drivers in the world, Day closed the final practice session of the Toyota / Save Mart 350 just 1.035 seconds off the best lap posted by Kyle Larson, right in the middle of the pack in 23rd position with an outstanding performance.
“It was a fantastic first day at the office,” said Day, who quickly found his rhythm despite a fuel leak limiting his track time in the first practice session. “It is unbelievable to be so close to the top, especially knowing where we can gain some more time to possibly put the EarthWater Toyota even higher in the standings. The team has done an outstanding job and I am so excited to have this opportunity with EarthWater supporting me.”
The Israeli clocked his best lap time in 1:16.934 around the 10-turns, 3.2 km Californian road course, half a second from a place in the top-10.
“The NASCAR experience on road courses i gained in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is definitely paying off. I was able to adapt pretty quickly to the Cup car and I found it so funny to drive. I’m having a blast,” said Day. “We will have just a couple of laps to do our best in qualifying and I hope to complete a clean run.”
The Tel-Aviv resident is not setting any specific goal for qualifying, but he’s confident there’s the potential for a very good race on Sunday in the Toyota / Save Mart 350. Competing at the highest level in NASCAR is a unique accomplishment for Day, who took the wheel of a Cup car just 2 ½ years after his first NWES test, but once the green flag drops there will be no reverential fear.
“Being here is a dream come true. I grew up playing NASCAR video games and just being here is incredible. It his historic for me, for Israel, for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, for everybody. It is an incredible experience and I can’t describe how exciting is to compete drive with so many great drivers. But in the end they are competitors and I can’t wait for the race to try to beat them!” concluded Day.
Saturday’s qualifying session for the 29th Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 will go green at 20:45 CET.