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From the other side of the world: Japanese Kenko Miura and his Euro NASCAR adventure

Every time the Kenko Miura steps on a plane to race in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, he flies around 9,500 kilometers to get to the track. In three years he traveled around 437,000 kilometers. The Japanese holds the record for the driver coming from the furthest away to race in NWES but he’s enjoying every second of adventure in the European NASCAR series.

Miura is part of the Euro NASCAR family since 2017, when he made his NASCAR debut at Valencia, Spain. The Alex Caffi Motorsport driver took on a part-time schedule in his first rookie campaign, grabbing three top-10 finishes in the ELITE 2 Division and one in the ELITE 1 Division. After these first steps in Europe, Miura decided to go full-time NASCAR racing. In 2018 he conquered the Challenger Trophy in Euro NASCAR’s top division and in 2019 he’s fighting to defend his title against the best NASCAR drivers in Europe.

The Japanese driver faces what may seem a considerable disadvantage. Traveling from the other side of the world to Europe implies hours of sitting in a plane, catching connection flights and get to the track in time is a stressful and exhausting part of his job at Alex Caffi Motorsport. Nevertheless, you’ll always see Kenko smiling at the race track.

“It’s not that unusual for Japanese drivers to race in Europe, as you can see in Formula One’s history,” said Miura. “In the beginning I was competing in races all around Asia, so I got used to leave Japan. I always wanted to race in Europe and in America so I’m really happy with my actual life.”

KENKO MIURA STATS

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

But traveling is not that easy with jetlag and all the stress: “The flights and the time zones are surely not easy to handle. Drivers from Europe don’t have these problems. But my strategy is to sleep as much as I can on the plane, so I’m not tired when I arrive. After the races I always go to sleep early to be in the best shape for the next day. It’s very important to sleep a lot and get the rest you need to be fast in Euro NASCAR.”

Miura is still in the hunt for his first ELITE 1 Division top-10 finish in 2019. At Venray, the only oval race this year, he finished twelfth and that was his best result in this year’s regular season. After a solid regular season, the Alex Caffi Motorsport driver will go on the attack to try and win back-to-back Challenger Trophy titles.

Miura’s strength is in his composure. You’ll never see Miura get lose control, even in the most adverse situation. The 40-year old driver is always focused and meticulous and that’s why he’s one of the most consistent Challenger Trophy drivers on the grid.

“We had a tough regular season this year,” said Miura. “We had some technical issues and the speed was not enough. The level of the drivers also improved again this year and it’s more difficult to be at the front than in the last seasons. But we had a great race car at Venray and we expect solid results in the playoffs. I always aim for the top-10 and if there is a chance to defend my title, I will take, but I will start the playoffs without special expectations.”

The driver of the #2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro will be back behind the wheel on September 21-22 at the iconic Hockenheimring in Germany. Just two weeks later, on October 5-6, he’ll return to Europe for the NWES finals at Zolder, Belgium.

2019 ELITE 1 STANDINGS

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard