Israeli-born Driver, Alon Day, Making Cup Series Start at Sonoma

Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin' the Tires

By Jerry Jordan, Editor
Alon Day, who opened the eyes of many during his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut last year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Park, will make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut this coming weekend at Sonoma Raceway with BK Racing and carrying Earthwater as his sponsor.

The announcement was made Friday, just a few days after Day won at England’s Brands Hatch American Speedfest in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and Day was elated about the announcement during a text conversation with Kickin’ the Tires.

“Earthwater and Franco Harris made this dream come true,” Day said. “This is road courses, something that I know and familiar with so I hope to get in pace quick. This probably is the biggest event in my career and I’m definitely excited about it and thankful for the sponsors and people who made this happen! Can’t wait to drive it.”

When asked what it felt like to hear the words Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers along with his name, Day said it was overwhelming and something he has wanted since he began racing. But he also realizes that he must now go out and show the world that he is worthy of the opportunity and that; hopefully, it will lead to even bigger and better things.

“This is definitely the biggest achievement of my life now. I finally made it,” he said. “But now must concentrate the best I can for the race.”

The start in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 will make Day the first-ever Israeli-born driver in NASCAR’s top series. He races full-time in the Euro Series but was also part of the 2016 NASCAR NEXT Program, which takes young talent and highlights their attempt at joining the sport’s top stockcar drivers. It was the first time a driver from outside North America has been part of the program.

Day, 25, was born in Tel Aviv and was named Israel’s Athlete of the Year, and just missed winning the Euro Series Championship last year. During his outing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Day raced up to third before getting damage to his car from a laps-down driver spinning in front of him. Despite the damage, Day went on to finish 13th.

“We are very serious about our commitment to what we do with diversity and having drivers from all over the world compete at the highest levels of NASCAR,” said Joe Balash, International Competition Liaison for NASCAR, after Day’s performance last year. “Alon has really proven himself in the Euro Series and we are proud to have him here racing in the Xfinity Series. He really is such a great driver and he is representing the NASCAR Whelan Euro Series really well.

Day will also get the chance to run later this year at Watkins Glen, again in the Cup Series, and he will be driving in the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series when not overseas battling for the 2017 title there.

BK Racing team owner, Ron Devine, said he is happy to have Day in the car and “can’t wait to see him race Sonoma in the Cup Series. He’s had success at every level he has raced, so we will see what happens.”

Earthwater, which is based in Addison, Tx., has been on the BK Racing machines several times in 2017 and its president, Cash Riley Jr., stated in a press release that he was pleased to be partnered with the team and Day. It’s an opportunity to not only showcase the company but to bring awareness about hydration solutions to another realm of the sports world, he said.

“We’re excited to partner with BK Racing for this groundbreaking moment in NASCAR’s history which features an amazing driver who will be competing at the highest level with world class drivers,” Riley Jr. said. “With increasingly numbers of issues around dehydration in all sports, especially during the summer, we are honored to offer a solution and bring awareness to a life-threatening issue. We’re looking forward to the celebration of diversity at Sonoma and the continued expansion of our global brand.”

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