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Mission accomplished for Loris Hezemans at Phoenix

Loris Hezemans accomplished his main goal on Saturday in his NASCAR Xfinity Series return at Phoenix International Raceway. By finishing the race – Hezemans was 31st under the checkered flag – and not taking risks, the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion took an important step towards obtaining NASCAR’s approval to compete in the Cup Series.

That it wasn’t going to be an easy task it was known. Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, there were no practice sessions nor qualifying and Hezemans had to start the race from the back without any experience on the #13 Hezeberg Systems Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Reaume Brothers Racing.

With no practice time to optimize the car’s setup, Hezemans suffered from a lot of understeer in the corners from the start, something that improved slightly as the race went on. But the goal for the 2019 NWES champion was to finish and he did just fine.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 13: Loris Hezemans, driver of the #13 Hezeberg Systems Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Call 811 Before You Dig 200 presented by Arizona 811 at Phoenix Raceway on March 13, 2021 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) | Getty Images
AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 13: Loris Hezemans, driver of the #13 Hezeberg Systems Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Call 811 Before You Dig 200 presented by Arizona 811 at Phoenix Raceway on March 13, 2021 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“The main goal of the race is achieved and that is to finish the race without any problems. Unfortunately right from the start we had a lot of understeer which we tried to adjust during the pit stops but every time the car felt the same just like if something was stuck and causing us to get more and more understeer,” said the Dutchman. “From that point on it was just making sure I finished because every time I tried to push the understeer got worse and worse. It’s a pity because I think if we could have controlled that problem a top-25 result would have been possible. I’m looking forward to the next race in May at the Charlotte oval and would especially like to thank my sponsors Hezeberg Systems and Timezone for their support.”

The next step for Hezemans to get his NASCAR Cup Series license will be the NASCAR Xfinity race on the 1.5 mile oval of Charlotte Motor Speedway which will be run on May 29, 2021.