Defending NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Anthony Kumpen is set to make his second Xfinity Series start of the year and sixth overall in a NASCAR national division.
The Belgian driver is returning to America to make his second start of the season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Kumpen will compete for the first time at Mid-Ohio and he'll be going for his first top-ten finish on U.S. soil on a track style he's very familiar with. The majority of the races for the NWES are held on road courses and this will be his first NXS race on such a layout.
The two-time NASCAR Euro champion will drive the No. 46 LeasePlan Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Precision Performance Motorsports. He hopes his ten NWES wins in just 44 career starts will help him earn a solid finish on the 2.4 mile (3.86 km) Mid-Ohio road 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.”
This will also be the fifth race for Kumpen and the Precision Performance Motorsports team in the past three years. Kumpen started the season opener in Daytona last February and came home a respectable 22nd in his second start at the historic facility.
“PPM is a very solid team, they are growing steadily and results are there to prove it," he added. "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 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 before coming home 13th while former ELITE 2 driver Anthony Gandon made his US debut at the road course in 2013, finishing 28th.
The reigning NWES Champion comes off a successful weekend at the Hockenheimring where he closed the regular season with his third win of the season.
The Hasselt, Belgium driver sits second in the standings, just eight points back of 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," Kumpen said. "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.