Anthony Kumpen will be back at the wheel of a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series car at his home track in Belgium. The PK Carsport team manager will take over the #24 Chevrolet Camaro at Circuit Zolder and compete in his first EuroNASCAR PRO race since 2018. The two-time NWES Champion last battled for the title in 2017 when he ended up second behind his future teammate Alon Day. In 2014 and 2016, the Hasselt native grabbed the overall win and earned a place in the Whelen Hall Of Champions at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.
In 55 EuroNASCAR PRO races, Kumpen collected a total of ten race wins, four pole positions and 26 podium finishes. With two championship rings in his hands, Kumpen is third in the history books of EuroNASCAR right behind Ander Vilarino and Day, who hold three titles each. The four-kilometer long track in the forest of Zolder was the stage of one race win in 2016, when the Belgian grabbed his second EuroNASCAR PRO Championship and was given his trophy by NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon.
“I’m so happy to be back and there is no better place for a comeback than Circuit Zolder,” said Kumpen. “This is the place I won the championship back in 2016 when Jeff Gordon was present as the Grand Marshal and also presenter of the championship trophy. NASCAR is my favorite type of racing with its pure character and no electronic aids like ABS or traction control. I was still involved in the past seasons with my team and now I’m back at the wheel.”
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The owner of the Belgian powerhouse PK Carsport, Kumpen is set to fight for race wins straight away. Day already won the team four races so far in 2022 and won the championship with Kumpen’s organization in 2020.
“We should be able to do well,” the Hasselt hero said. “It’s been a while since I drove a EuroNASCAR car, but I was following the development of the series closely. I think we have all it takes to be up front at Circuit Zolder.” This guest appearance in the 2022 NWES season may even lead to a bigger surprise for the 2023 campaign, because Kumpen considers making a full-time comeback.
“Maybe I will be fighting for the championship again in 2023 and do the full season,” said the Belgian. “I’m looking forward to working again with the whole EuroNASCAR family and delivering a good show for the spectators. We are racing for the fans and it’s important to put up an entertaining event for them at Circuit Zolder. In the end, it’s a nice thing for everyone to be back in the EuroNASCAR PRO grid.”
The regular season finale will take place on October 8-9 in the forests of Limburg. In the championship battle, Day leads the points standings on his hunt to become the first four-time NWES champion.
After Zolder, all drivers will drop their two worst results before they head to Grobnik for the October 29-30 double-points EuroNASCAR Finals on the Croatian Riviera.
Featured image credits: Getty Images for NASCAR