Alon Day hopes to impress in first NASCAR start on an oval

Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 brings another first for Israeli driver Alon Day, who already holds the distinction as the first driver from his country to compete in any of NASCAR’s top three touring series.

Day will make his oval-track debut in the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race when he drives the No. 23 BK Racing Toyota at Richmond Raceway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

A road-course specialist and the reigning NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion, Day finished 32nd in his only other start in NASCAR’s premier series (last year at Sonoma). His objective on Saturday is simply to finish the race.

“I don’t expect for any result—top 25, top 30 or whatever,” Day said. “I’m more trying to focus about surviving the race, finishing the race without making major mistakes, learning as much as possible, being obviously approved for the next tracks. Yeah, I’ll do my best.”

Day’s career goal is to race full-time in a NASCAR series in the United States, but for now, he has to settle for an occasional race that doesn’t conflict with his NWES title defense.

“First of all, I would love to do the Roval (Charlotte road course) next week,” Day said. “That’s who I am. I come from road courses. I know I’m good at that. That’s the best opportunity for me to show what I’m capable of doing.”

Day also said he’s trying to work out opportunities to race at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedway in the final two events on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

SHORT STROKES

Trying for his fourth straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, Brad Keselowski showed no letup in speed in Friday’s practice at Richmond Raceway. The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford was 14th on the speed chart in the opening session and fastest in Happy Hour, turning a lap at 120.224 mph. The last driver to win four straight races at NASCAR’s highest level was Jimmie Johnson in 2007, the second of his seven championship seasons…

GoBowling will return as the entitlement sponsor for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff opener next year, Richmond Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier announced on Friday. “GoBowling’s strong presence in motorsports continues to grow, and Richmond Raceway is a big part of the strategy to share their message,” Bickmeier said.

The GoBowling.com 250 is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.

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