Alon Day "never dreamed" he'd get chance to run NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Alon Day ready to make history with first NASCAR Cup Series start on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.

Alon Day "never dreamed" he'd get chance to run NASCAR Cup Series
Alon Day, BK Racing Toyota
Alon Day, BK Racing Toyota
Alon Day, Athlete of the Year in Israel in the Motorsport category
Alon Day
Winner Alon Day
Alon Day, Athlete of the Year in Israel in the Motorsports category

Israeli native and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver Alon Day will get to see one of his racing dreams come true this Sunday when he takes the green flag for the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

Day will become the first NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver to make a start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

To say he’s excited would be an understatement.

“I can’t believe this is all coming into place and I can’t wait for this weekend,” Day told Motorsport.com at the BK Racing shop in Huntersville, N.C. earlier this week. “I would have never dreamed I would have this opportunity a little over two years ago. “

The Ashdod, Israel, driver has been competing in the only series sanctioned by NASCAR in Europe since 2015 and said the opportunity to drive for CAAL Racing came at the right time for him.

“Back in 2015 I was driving Endurance races in Europe and I found myself without a ride at the beginning of the year and I actually thought about retiring until an opportunity came up in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series,” he said. “Now I’m here today at BK Racing making a Cup start. I so happy and fortunate to have the support of Earthwater and BK Racing with me to make this all happen.”

Coming over from the NASCAR Euro Series

Day has already made starts in the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck series. He finished an impressive 13th at Mid-Ohio last year after running in the top 10 for most of the race.

“I’m still racing in the NWES and being the first driver from the series to drive in a Cup race is a big thing and I hope more drivers follow me,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t racing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and I hope I’m the first of several drivers to make it to the Cup Series and get an opportunity like I have.”

While Day doesn’t have any experience driving a Cup car or working with BK Racing, he’s not too worried because of where he’ll make his debut in the No. 23 EarthWater Toyota.

“I’ve driven road courses mostly my entire career and being on a road course is something I’m familiar with even though I’ve never been to Sonoma or driven for BK Racing before,” Day said. “I’m comfortable on road courses and being on a road course will help me get comfortable pretty quickly in the car.”

He’s also been watching previous races from Sonoma and practicing on simulators and video games.

Day was also a member of the NASCAR Next program last year and was part of a group of drivers who were selected based on their driving and marketability in NASCAR. Having that exposure and opportunity also helped prepare Day for Sunday.

“I was able to meet a lot of great people who have the ability to help you and help you get noticed in the sport and I appreciate the support NASCAR gives to that program and drivers as they work to reach their goals,” he said. “It was an honor to be a part of the program.”

Representing Israel

While Sunday will be a big moment for the 25-year-old driver on the track, he’s also helping showcase NASCAR to his native country.

“I started racing in 2002 in Israel and there were really no motorsports presence there and now they just built their first race track in 2017,” Day said. “It was difficult to come from there with no racing background, but people there are proud of me and the entire country is supporting me.

“Israel always followed Formula 1 and LeMans and when I was recognized last year we started finding more people following NASCAR and the race will be shown live in Israel and that’s never been done before. Also, the biggest paper in Israel ran a story on me this week and that has never happened before.”

In addition to those ‘firsts’ that Day has helped make happen in Israel, he also experienced another in January.

Day was recognized by Israel's Ministry Of Culture and Sports as Israel's Athlete of the Year in the motorsports category, a first for any NASCAR driver across the Atlantic

“I hope I’m helping change what people think about NASCAR when they hear about it or read about it,” he said. “I’m proud to represent my country and want to do well and I know the entire country will be behind me and that’s an awesome feeling to have as a race car driver.”

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