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Two-time NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion Anthony Kumpen will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend at Mid-Ohio and he will aim for a top-10 finish in what will be his his first Road Course race in NASCAR in the US.
The Belgian will drive once again the #46 LeasePlan Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Precision Performance Motorsports and will count on his 10 NWES wins out of 44 starts to earn a solid finish on the 2.4 miles (3.86 km) of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“I can’t wait for this race and I have to thank NWES President Jerome Galpin, NASCAR’s Joe Balash and all the people from the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for making this happen for me and for giving European drivers the best opportunities to race in NASCAR in the US,” said Kumpen. “I’m sure my experience in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will put me in a very good position. It will still be a new car – I’ve driven only oval NXS cars – and a new track for me though, so I worked a lot on the simulator with my spotter Andy Jaenen to learn the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It definitely looks like a technical and challenging circuit. I think we have the potential to do well, so I’m aiming quite high: I want a top-10 result.”
About joining the Precision Performance Motorsports team for the fifth time in three years, Kumpen said: “PPM is a very solid team, they are growing steadily and results are there to prove it. Rick and Brandon Gdovic and crew chief Mark Setzer are doing a great job and I really look forward to work with them again.”
Kumpen will be the third NWES driver to race in NXS at Mid-Ohio: Two-time Junior Trophy winner Alon Day battled for a podium position in the rain for most of the race in 2016 to finish 13th under the checkered flag, while former ELITE 2 Anthony Gandon made his first US start at the road course in 2013, finishing 28th.
The reigning NWES Champion comes from a successful weekend at the Hockenheimring, where he closed the regular season with his third win of the season. The Hasselt-native sits second in points, just 8 marks behind the leader entering the playoffs and he believes the strong run he’s having in Europe will give him even more confidence for the upcoming weekend on the other side of the Atlantic.
“We are doing great in Europe and winning always help with confidence and everything. We have been in the top-3 all the time this year. We had some bad luck here and there, but that’s racing. We are in the same situation as last year entering the playoffs and we ended up winning the title, so I’m really happy about how things are going and I look forward to another great battle for the European in the next two months,” concluded the Belgian.
Kumpen’s schedule for the Mid-Ohio 200 weekend is the following (CET TIMES). The race will be broadcasted live on NBCSN.
Friday, August 11th
8:00 PM-8:55 PM 1ST PRACTICE
10:00 PM 10:55 PM FINAL PRACTICE
Saturday, August 12th
6:00 PM NXS QUALIFYING (MULTI-VEHICLE / TWO ROUNDS)
9:30 PM NXS RACE (75 LAPS, 169.35 MILES)
Credits: Getty Images For NASCAR