A dream come true: EuroNASCAR driver Miguel Gomes at the ARCA test in Daytona

A dream come true: EuroNASCAR driver Miguel Gomes at the ARCA test in Daytona
Credits: Michael Großgarten / Leadlap.de

Miguel Gomes has fulfilled a big dream by taking part in the ARCA test at Daytona – The Portuguese with roots in EuroNASCAR drove for Fast Track Racing at the Superspeedway in mid-January

To once take an official lap at Daytona International Speedway in a bona fide stock car is the dream of many racers who are big NASCAR fans. Miguel Gomes fulfilled that goal in mid-January with Fast Track Racing at the ARCA Series test. The EuroNASCAR driver made it to Florida thanks to his NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) team Marko Stipp Motorsport that connected the driver with the US team.

“The best word to describe the experience is ‘overwhelming’, different from anything I’ve done before,” says Gomes on the test to ‘EuroNASCAR.com’. “To be able to drive in the legendary oval of Daytona and participate in an event of a series with so much history, working together with a team like Fast Track Racing owned by Andy Hillenburg, a champion himself who also won in this track, was a privilege.”

I have to thank Marko Stipp Motorsport once again for putting us in contact,” continues Gomes, who competed in his first season in the NWES for the German team in 2021. The Portuguese also drove for Marko Stipp’s organization in 2022 and was involved in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship in the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and over, in which he ultimately finished fourth.

51.470 seconds, which was the 42-year-old’s best lap, putting him just 2.351 seconds slower than the best lap time. Out of 61 drivers who took part in the test, Gomes finished in 47th place in the end. In addition, Gomes shared the ARCA car with several drivers, Fast Track Racing had a whopping 13 drivers entered for the test on the 2.5-mile (four-kilometer) oval.

“The first time you go out on the track you don’t believe it’s possible to go full throttle there, your body keeps telling you it’s not. But then you try for the first time and the car sticks, from there it’s an amazing feeling to go wide open all the way,” says the Portuguese, who has conquered the oval umpteen times in the virtual world on iRacing.

Gomes plans to compete again in the 2023 NWES season, and the enthusiastic sim racer is currently in negotiations with Marko Stipp Motorsport to extend his contract. The championship will start on May 6 and 7, 2023 at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. As in 2022, a total of six events with twelve races are planned in each NWES championship.

André Wiegold