HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - There has never been a driver like Alon Day in NASCAR history.
Friday night, Day drove in the second ever NASCAR truck race, in Homestead, becoming the first Israeli-born person to compete in NASCAR’s top three levels of racing.
Day said he first became interested in American stock car racing by playing a NASCAR video game on his PlayStation as a boy. “In Israel, there are no motor sports at all, so being a kid from Israel, and making it to NASCAR here, it’s a dream come true for me,” he said.
Day, 25, served three years in the Israeli military. He said that experience prepared him for this moment.
“I’m pretty sure I was given some good tools to handle mental situations in the truck, inside a truck and outside a truck,” he said.
Day has open-wheel experience on the Indy Lights circuit. He is able to try this next level of racing because of NASCAR’s Next Program.
“I’m trying to learn as much as I can, and it’s nice to see that the other truck drivers giving you advice,” he said.
NASCAR is determined to find the next generation of drivers who will be accepted, no matter what nationality they are. “It goes to show you that it doesn’t matter what country you’re from … you always [want to] live out your dream,” said NASCAR truck driver Timothy Peters. “I think it’s very cool for NASCAR [to give him the opportunity] for him to compete. Now you have another country watching NASCAR.”
“I really hope more and more people will come after me,” said Day. “I really hope to open the door for Israel, and also people from Europe.”
Day finished 26th in Friday’s race. He said he needed to avoid crashes to keep the truck for a race in Daytona set for February.
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