Emotional victory for Alberto Naska: “Men cry for many reasons …”
Alberto Naska finds himself in a new role in the 2023 NWES season – The Italian is no longer the hunted, but the pursuer – In Italy, he celebrated an emotional victory
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) always makes for emotional stories. Especially the drivers’ home races are always made for emotional outbursts and special anecdotes. Such was the case in Italy at the Autodromo di Vallelunga, where Alberto Naska celebrated his first win of the season in EuroNASCAR 2 in front of his passionate home crowd. As the CAAL driver turned into Victory Lane, he cried and vented his emotions.
“Men cry for many reasons: Sadness, happiness, emotions, sorrow. Today I cried,” the 33-year-old says in his latest video on his English YouTube channel. “I cried a lot, like a child, and I tell you, it’s been many years since I cried like this.” But what had happened to make the emotions just gush out of the Italian in Victory Lane at Vallelunga? What made the win at the Autodromo di Vallelunga so special for Naska?
In his rookie season of 2022, the content creator and racer quickly took the overall lead. He won race after race, setting up a heated title battle with Liam Hezemans. He was the hunted, while Hezemans, as the chaser, tried to make the decisive move on the CAAL driver. The Dutchman only managed to do so in the final race of the season, which is why Naska had to settle for second place in the overall standings.
In the 2023 season, Hezemans will race in EuroNASCAR PRO, which is why Naska was the absolute favorite for the EuroNASCAR 2 title for many. But then Vladimiros Tziortzis surprised everyone with four wins in a row and turned the balance of power in the championship upside down. Suddenly, Naska was the chaser and remained winless until Italy. On the track, however, he then managed to regain his old strength and break the curse. That’s why it was such an important win for Naska on Saturday in front of his home crowd.
“This win shows that good results are not coming by chance,” Naska says. “They are the result of hard work, commitment and suffering. A month ago we were desperate because I started the season as the driver to beat. But life brought me back down to earth. I was slow and we fell behind. After four losses in a row, we had to work, all together as a team. The team changed the setup and I trained for hours in the simulator.”
“Then came the results,” Naska continues. “After the most perfect race of my life without a single mistake came the victory. And then I cried, also for the fans who were all there to cheer me on. I also cried because of the hard work. I cried because the weight of the last months, in which we suffered, fell from my shoulders.” After two strong results in Vallelunga, Naska is second overall, just 13 points behind Tziortzis.
The regulations say that all drivers must cross off their two worst results at the end of the regular season after the races in Most and Oschersleben. With this score, they then head to the finale in Zolder, Belgium, where double points are awarded in both races. Last year this was Naska’s kryptonite, in 2023 the Italian could benefit from the points system and take the EuroNASCAR 2 title. Tziortzis, but also Paul Jouffreau and Gil Linster will have different plans and make life difficult for the Italian.