Kumpen Sets Goals For NXS Daytona Dream Race

Racing at the Daytona International Speedway is something special, especially for a European driver and even more for Anthony Kumpen, the first ever NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver to compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at the legendary “World Center Of Racing". But special events also put special pressure on its protagonists, and that’s why they require special preparation.

Anthony Kumpen, the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion, will enter the PowerShares QQQ 300 thanks to the Nexteer Road To Daytona – the program built by NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and Nexteer Automotive to provide European drivers with the best opportunities to race in NASCAR in US – at the wheel of the #46 Leaseplan Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Precision Performance Motorsports after a steady and errorless progression through different ovals that will culminate with the February 20 NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener.

“The Daytona Speedweeks are among the most important racing events in the world and I’m really, really happy and grateful to NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Netxeer Automotive, Leaseplan and all my partners for making me a part of this incredible event," said Kumpen, who will be the first European to race at Daytona since Max Papis in 2011 and the first Belgian since Christine Beckers in 1977. “It is amazing to have this opportunity and to have NASCAR’s support over in Europe with the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and I hope that many drivers will follow this path in the future. It is a big step for me, but also for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series."

The Belgian spent the months between the Homestead-Miami Finals and his trip preparing the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season and training intensively for his debut on the 2.5-mile Superspeedway.

“I think I really did everything was in my power to be at my best for this race. I trained a lot, both mentally and physically, and I studied a lot of footage to see what happened in the past and to acquire as many information as possible. With my trainer we worked a lot on improving my sight and my brain’s speed to get used to everything happening so much faster. We learnt many things that will help us also in our 2016 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series campaign," said the Hasselt-native. “In the end though, it will be much different from anything I am used to."

The first goal is obviously to qualify for the race – the provisional entry list features 46 cars for 40 spots on the grid – but Kumpen would consider finishing the PowerShares QQQ 300 a milestone in his career and also sees a subtle advantage in the state of mind he approaches the race with.

“We will have to make the race and then the goal will be to finish, so I can take that little extra caution, stay a couple of inches farther from the wall. And if we stay away from trouble, anything can happen at Daytona," concluded Kumpen. “I couldn’t study more and I am confident, excited and a little bit nervous all at the same time. I know I will do my best and that Precision Performance Motorsports will give me a fantastic car. I am ready."

The green flag for the PowerShares QQQ 300 will wave at 21:46 CET on Saturday, February 20 and the race will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports 1