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250th NASCAR race in Europe: Ercoli shines while EuroNASCAR celebrates another milestone

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series had its 250th race at Autodromo di Vallelunga on July 10 and the fans didn’t get disappointed. The milestone race was won by none other than Gianmarco Ercoli who made thousands of Italians go crazy after the EuroNASCAR PRO race. The 27-year old Rome-native was the local hero at Vallelunga opened another exciting chapter in the history books of the NWES. 

Ercoli took over the lead at the start of the race from pole sitter Alon Day and led all laps from flag-to-flag. The CAAL Racing driver got his revenge after the clash he had with Day at Brands Hatch and made a big jump to eighth in the overall standings – 54 points off the Israeli in the points lead. Right before the green flag of the milestone race, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series presented its updated championship trophy made by the Italian company Tijey.

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Klemen Sofric

Winning the 250th NWES race feels even more special for Ercoli, who joined the series in 2014 when he was19 years old.

“After Saturday’s disappointment, we finally exorcized our bad luck and got a win that eluded us too many times this year. It was so exciting to see all the fans and friends who came to support me in ‘stadium mode’ go crazy,” said Ercoli. “Winning the 250th race of a series I joined so young and that is contributing so much to my growth is really special. I hope these wins will one day take me to the US.”

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Klemen Sofric

Let’s take a trip to the past: Ander Vilarino was the first ever race car driver to win an official NASCAR race in Europe back in 2012 when the popular American sanctioning body and Team FJ joined forces to bring NASCAR to the Old Continent. The Spaniard eventually became three-time champion of the series four years later. 

The 50th NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race took place at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia in 2014. That EuroNASCAR 2 race was won by Neal Van Vaerenbergh from Belgium, who swept the weekend driving for PK Carsport as the Belgian powerhouse was entering the series for the first time. 

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

The 100th race had a very special driver guest in its Victory Lane: Alon Day. The Israeli is not only tied in championship wins with Vilarino but is also the winningest driver in the history of EuroNASCAR. The milestone race took place in Valencia in 2016 and marked Day’s fourth win in EuroNASCAR PRO – back then with CAAL Racing. One year later, the Israeli started his record-breaking hunt for championship rings. 

In 2018 for the 150th race, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series headed down to the south of Europe: The Autodromo di Franciacorta in Italy hosted another memorable EuroNASCAR 2 race that was won by Felipe Rabello from Brazil.

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

The 200th race followed in 2020 at Circuit Zolder in Belgium – another long-year track partner that is part of the NWES schedule since 2015. The race weekend marked Martin Doubek’s first two wins in EuroNASCAR 2 and only one year later, the Czech took the championship crown. 

The 2022 NWES championship continues on September 4-5 at Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic. It’s the start of the streak until the series’ 300th race that will probably be held in 2024. All qualifyings and races will be broadcast on the NWES YouTube channel, and plenty of TV service from around the world. Tune in and be part of another exciting chapter in EuroNASCAR history.

Featured image by NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Klemen Sofric

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Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Klemen Sofric