NWES • September 22, 2015
First Asian NWES Winner, Looks Forward To A Career In The US
Daytona Beach, Florida - September 22, 2015 - With his dominating win in the ELITE 1 Semi Final 1 at the Autodromo dell’Umbria di Magione, Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) wrote his name in the history books not only as the first Israeli driver to win a EuroNASCAR race, but also as the first ever Asian driver to conquer the checkered flag in a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race.
The 23-year old from Ashdod, Israel, who scored a total of 3 top-5s and 7 top-10s in the first five rounds of the 2015 season, stormed to the win in front of two-time champion Ander Vilarino (#2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS) after lowering the track’s record in qualifying by one full second.
"It feels great! And it feels even better when you think about the way it came, with such a strong performance," said Day about his maiden NASCAR win. "We were really fast right off the truck and everybody at CAAL Racing worked so hard for this that I couldn’t be happier. I feel we really deserved it. It’s something really special in a country like Israel, where there are only a few race car drivers."
The second race of the Italian weekend didn’t go as well, as Day started from the pole on slick tires, but quickly lost positions to his rivals on wet tires and ended up 16th under the checkered flag. Day didn’t lose his optimism though.
"We were the first to opt for slick Michelin tires and everybody followed, but as soon as the light went green at end of pit road, I looked back and many rivals were going back to rain tires. At that point, my only option was to give up the pole to change tires, but we choose to stay out and start on slicks. It didn’t pay off and it’s a shame not to have swept the weekend, but you learn from everything and next time I’ll be prepared," said Day.
The Israeli rookie - who cut his teeth in open wheels in Asia, Europe and the US, but also raced GT cars all over the world - showed a strong potential since his first test at the wheel of a EuroNASCAR car, back in April, but it took him some time to fully exploit that potential in racing conditions.
"I had a good feeling since the first time I drove the car, but there is a big difference between testing and racing and I was used to a completely different kind of driving. It takes some time to adapt completely. Now I also understand the car much better, and my relationship with the team has developed in many aspects," said the CAAL Racing driver.
Racing in the US is one of the goals Day sat for his future when he entered his first NWES season, but Day was impressed by how much the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series brings the American spirit to Europe.
"I raced on both sides of the Atlantic and I can say I was surprised to see how much the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series catches the American way of racing. To see all the fans and how close they can come to us is fantastic. I would really like to continue in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and have a go in NASCAR in the States."
Day’s expectations are now high for the NWES Finals, taking place at Circuit Zolder, in Belgium, on October 3-4, as he sits sixth in points, 73 lenghts behind leader Vilarino, with still a chance to win the title.
"I think everybody has the same goal. I want to repeat the weekend I had in Magione, score the maximum points and hope everything goes my way. I’m not looking at the championship points now, I just want to win those two last races and see what happens," concluded Day.
In a season with six different winners and 192 points still to be assigned, everything is still possible and a new contender definitely emerged from the Semi Finals: his name is Alon Day. Keep an eye on him!
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