Whelen Motorsports

Vilarino Leads from Flag to Flag

NWES • April 27, 2015

Scores 18th Career Win And Takes The Points Lead

Valencia, Spain - April 26th, 2015 - Nothing could stop Ander Vilarino (#2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS) from winning the ELITE 1 Race 2 at Valencia. The Spaniard started from the pole and led flag to flag to score his first win of the season, the 18th of his NASCAR career and the fourth on the Spanish track.

"I am very proud to leave Valencia as the championship leader because there are many really strong drivers competing for the win in each race," said the driver of the #2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS. "A lot of people came today to see me in my home race and it feels amazing to win in front of them."

Vilarino jumped to an early lead immediately after the start, building a comfortable margin over Frederic Gabillon (#3 RDV Competition Chevrolet SS) and Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) but a safety car brought out to recover Roberto Benedetti’s car (#9 Double T by DAV Racing Chevrolet SS) from the gravel at turn 12 compacted the field again and led to a restart on lap 6. Vilarino kept the first position ahead of Gabillon and Kumpen, dictating the pace while the Frenchman and the defending champion battled for second.

Some contacts shuffled the field in restart, with Nicoló Rocca (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) and Borja Garcia (#1 Active Racing Competition Ford Mustang) losing various positions, while Romain Iannetta (#7 TFT Chevrolet SS) climbed up to fourth, followed by yesterday’s winner Eddie Cheever III (#51 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS).

The top-5 remained unchanged until the last corner of the last lap, when the Italian dived inside Iannetta and took fourth under the Checkered flag, while Vilarino crossed the line first by 3.6 seconds on Gabillon and Kumpen.

Iannetta closed fifth, followed by Wilfried Boucenna (#4 Efficaciter Ford Mustang) and a very consistent Florian Renauer (#5 Dexwet Renauer Team Ford Mustang). Luke Wrigth (#7 DF-1 Racing Chevrolet SS) completed a splendid comeback from the last row on the grid to finish eight, ahead of Borja Garcia and Philipp Lietz (#67 GDL Racing Ford Mustang), who completed the top-10.

Vilarino also took the points lead by just 2 points on Cheever and 10 on Kumpen.

By finishing fourth, Saturday’s winner Eddie Cheever III increases his advantage in the Junior "JérÃ’me Sarran" Trophy with a second win. Wilfried Boucennat takes P2 with a good sixth position. Florian Renauer completes the podium after a solid race.

The Challenger Trophy contenders were all close in the end. Twelveth finisher Dominic Tiroch (#99 GDL Racing Dodge Challenger) takes the win in front of Fabrizio Armetta (#12 Double T by DAV Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Eric De Doncker (#98 Motorsport 98 Ford Mustang).

The Valencia American Fest gathered 20.500 fans to the track for the event and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is now looking forward to the first oval race of the season in Venray, Netherlands (May, 23-24). Fans can stay in touch on the Series’ official Facebook page and on Twitter. See you soon race fans!