RC Enerson: Road America NASCAR debut "a little intimidating"
RC Enerson has considered venturing into NASCAR competition for some time but he certainly picked the direct approach for his debut.
Enerson will compete in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Road America, driving the No. 07 Chevrolet for SS Green Light Racing, his first start in a NASCAR national series event.
The 23-year-old part-time IndyCar Series driver and 2014 U.S. F2000 Winterfest champion, however, has never taken a lap in a stock car. His first lap in SS Green Light Racing’s Chevy will come in Saturday’s pace laps.
He has had the benefit of some NASCAR iRacing competition but he’s well aware that is no replacement for actual track time.
“I’ve always been in interested in racing in NASCAR. Obviously there are a lot of things about NASCAR racing that I’m not familiar with and I didn’t grow up in that culture, things like how much contact there is,” Enerson told Motorsport.com.
“I’ve only driven open-wheel where contact is a ‘no-go’ or you’re going to break the car in half. It’s going to be a completely new experience. But you give a driver four wheels and an engine and they’ll want to drive.
“It’s a little intimidating, especially with the random draw we start mid-pack (24th). I better figure some things out just on the pace laps like getting comfortable with the shifter and how the brakes feel. I’m going to make sure I tell the guy starting behind me I’m probably going to be braking a little bit early.”
Enerson’s most recent IndyCar start came last season, when he finish 17th at Mid-Ohio driving for Carlin Racing. Enerson currently works as the lead race series instructor at the Lucas Oil School of Racing, which will sponsor his car in Saturday’s NASCAR race.
“I’ve talked to James Davison, I’ve talked to Connor Daly, talked to a few people who have driven the NASCAR cars and they’ve given me a few tricks on the dos and do-nots as compared to an IndyCar,” Enerson said.
“It’s going to be a quick learning curve, that’s for sure. I hope to take it through the first couple corners and the first couple laps and learn the car, figure things out and then race from then on.”
Right now, Enerson’s NASCAR race is a “one and done” deal but he said if things go well Saturday, more opportunities could arise.
Asked what he would consider a successful debut, Enerson said: “As long we make it to the finish line without going a lap down, overall I think that will be a success. Obviously, you always shoot to win no matter what racing you’re doing, but I have realistic expectations with no practice, no qualifying in a car I’ve never drive before.
“It’s going to be quite an experience but I think a lot of fun.”
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