NASCAR

Preview: NASCAR Whelen Euro in Italy

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After nearly a month off, the NASCAR Whelen Euro series returns to action this weekend for the American NASCAR Weekend; rounds 3 and 4 of the season at the Autodromo Di Franciacorta in northern Italy.  The 2.5km/1.5mi track has hosted the Whelen Euro series the last two seasons, with the races in the Elite 1 series being dominated by defending champion Alon Day for CAAL Racing, winning three of the 4 races held at the track.

Alon Day has won 3 of the 4 races held at Franciacorta, he will be looking to make it 5 of 6 this weekend.

This year he faces some very strong competition in the form of several competitors both old and new.  New to the series Racing Engineering showed their chops at Valencia last month when 3-time Elite 1 champion Ander Vilarino swept the weekend in Elite 1 at his home race, and return to the series. Driving for two-time champion Anthony Kumpen and his PK Carport squad; Stienes Longin has finished second in four consecutive races, but has yet to reach the top step of the podium. He, along with racing veterans such as Marc Goosens, Jaques Villeneuve and the rest of the very diverse 33 car field will be looking to take the fight to Vilarino and Day.

Myatt Snider and Andre Castro spinning in the final corner during Elite 2 Race 1 in Valencia

In the Elite 2 class, it is all about the rookies. ¬†Giorgio Maggi and Vittorio Ghirelli are first and seconds in points heading into the weekend, separated by just 1 point. Hot on their heels though will be the American duo of Myatt Snider and Andre Castro. Both drivers showed great speed in Spain and have picked up the nuances of these cars quickly, showcased by Snyder taking a pole position and Castro being one corner away from victory in Race 1 when he was taken out in a passing maneuver by said Snider, but rebounded for a podium finish in Race 2. While Snyder’s immediate success is not surprising considering his stock-car background, Andre Castro went from an unknown entity to being on everyone’s radar for a podium finish this weekend. His change from open wheel cars to full bodied cars has required some changes in his work-out routine which includes more cardio to compensate for the change in cockpit temperatures encountered over the course of a race.

In any event, with such a glut of talent in both divisions, it is tougher than ever to pick or isolate someone as a favorite.  With the dominance of Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing in the Monster Energy Cup series, it is a fresh breath of air to have a series so competitive from top to bottom, though surely CAAL Racing, PK Carsport and Racing Engineering would like to distance themselves from the rest of the pack.

You can catch the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series American NASCAR Weekend from Italy live streamed from the Whelen Euro Facebook and Youtube pages, at fanschoice.tv and motorsport.tv

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About Damin Sawyer

Lifetime motorsports fan from New York. New to the journalism business, but has been doing photo captures for racing events for a few years now. Follow his journey though the motorsports world here, on Instagram @moloiiiiol and on Facebook at Moloiiiol Motion & Media.

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