While most of the NASCAR XFINITY Series regulars struggled to find grip at the wet Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, debutante driver Alon Day made a big splash in his first U.S. NASCAR start.
Day became the first Israeli driver to race in one of NASCAR’s top-three divisions at Mid-Ohio. The Tel Aviv native brought his No. 40 Carl Long Motorsports Dodge home in the 13th position after running inside the top-five for most of the race.
Day, who was named to this year’s NASCAR Next program, has an extensive road course racing background through his experience in Indy Lights competition, and most recently in the NASCAR Euro Series. When wet weather conditions changed the race, Day was able to use his experience of racing in the rain to compete for a win in one of the lowest budget cars in the field.
“On the one of the first restarts attacking immediately, I knew some guys would be slow in the rain,” Day said. “I have some experience in the rain – I used to drive in the rain all the time in Europe.”
Day was in contention for a top-five run until a second rain storm soaked the track once again.
“It was fun until the second rain,” he said. “When the second rain came, I just…someone spun and hit my front suspension, damaged the car and it was impossible to drive. I thought I had a shot at a top-five, but the car was impossible to drive. At that moment, I just tried to survive and fortunately did the same.”
Day, whose sponsorship came from Florida Waterfront Law, a Jewish-owned law practice, intends to be back with Long’s team at Road America in a few weeks, and hopes to run up to five more races before the end of the season.
“First of all, going to Road America, we expect to do five more races but it depends on sponsorship because we don’t have any,” Day explained. “When the deal came and I was going to drive the 40 car, I went to the internet and checked the results of this car and my expectation wasn’t high to be honest.
“If I finished 25th, I’d be happy with that. Suddenly I was fighting for the lead and that’s unbelievable.”