Miguel Gomes’ dream to start in the ARCA race in Daytona may come true

Miguel Gomes’ dream to start in the ARCA race in Daytona may come true
Credits: Michael Großgarten / Leadlap.de

Miguel Gomes wants to fulfill a lifelong dream on February 18, 2023, and compete in an official NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway – But first the Portuguese has to qualify

Miguel Gomes’ US adventure is reaching the next level: After a solid ARCA test in January 2023 with Fast Track Racing, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver has joined Young’s Motorsports for the ARCA season opener at the legendary Daytona International Speedway. However, the Portuguese driver still has to qualify for the race on February 18, 2023, as part of the Daytona 500 program.

But before his lifelong dream can come true, Gomes still has to clear one difficult hurdle: qualifying. 41 cars are entered for the race, but only 40 drivers are allowed to start on the 2.5-mile Superspeedway in Florida. The 42-year-old will give his all in the No. 02 Chevrolet to get on the grid and contest the race before Saturday’s Xfinity Series opener.

This would add Gomes to an exclusive list of drivers who have made the jump from the European NASCAR series to US racing. That includes Alon Day, Loris Hezemans, Justin Kunz, Thomas Ferrando, Gil Linster, Ulysse Delsaux and other European racers. Gomes has been racing for Marko Stipp Motorsports in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) since the 2021 season and has already competed in two full EuroNASCAR 2 seasons.

“My biggest dream since I started racing in real life has been to race at Daytona, so to be able to do it during the Daytona 500 weekend is just hard to believe! I still have to qualify for the race on Saturday, but just to be able to try is great,” says Gomes, who has his roots in sim racing and has put in plenty of miles in the virtual world at the Florida superspeedway, to ‘EuroNASCAR.com’.

After his ARCA outing, Gomes will focus on wrapping up a contract for the 2023 NWES season. The Portuguese is in negotiations with German team Marko Stipp Motorsport. The 42-year-old has already celebrated numerous successes with the racing team in the Rookie and Legend Trophy of the EuroNASCAR 2 championship and it is not out of the question that the joint journey will continue in 2023. The NWES season starts on May 6 and 7 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

André Wiegold