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Kobayashi to make NASCAR Cup debut with 23XI Racing at Indy street course

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In a press convention at Le Mans previous to first follow on Wednesday, Toyota Racing Growth president David Wilson revealed that Kobayashi will marketing campaign the #67 Toyota Camry beforehand raced by Travis Pastrana to an eleventh place end on the Daytona 500 on 13 August.

He’ll change into the primary Japanese driver since Hideo Fukuyama in 2003 to begin a Cup race.

Kobayashi’s cameo outing with the 23XI group, co-owned by Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin and basketball legend Michael Jordan, comes following comparable one-off appearances this season by fellow ex-System 1 drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button with Trackhouse Racing and Rick Ware Racing respectively at Circuit of the Americas.

Wilson mentioned: “It’s actually an honour to have Kamui need to take part in our NASCAR Cup Collection programme, and we’re thrilled that we may work with our companions at 23XI Racing to offer him a aggressive Camry TRD for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway street course occasion.

“Kamui shares the eagerness for motorsports that each one of us at Toyota and TRD USA dwell daily so it will likely be thrilling to indicate him our NASCAR programme with him behind the wheel of certainly one of our TRD Camrys.”

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Kobayashi was appointed group principal of Toyota’s WEC arm forward of the 2022 season alongside his function as a driver within the #7 Toyota GR010 Hypercar.

“NASCAR is one thing totally different within the tradition of motorsports in comparison with Japan and Europe – as a driver, it’s the American dream,” he mentioned.

“I used to be fortunate to have the ability to race in IMSA the final couple of years. It’s a unique type of racing, however I believe the racing know-how is at a excessive degree.

“I actually respect this chance from TRD USA and naturally Toyota Motor North America and Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Kobayashi turns into the primary Japanese driver in NASCAR since Hideo Fukuyama

Picture by: Motorsport Images

“Toyota has been racing in NASCAR for a very long time, however I don’t assume every other Japanese driver has raced a Toyota within the Cup Collection. I’m very happy with this chance.”

PLUS: How NASCAR is aiming to thrill on its Le Mans return

NASCAR is current at Le Mans to with a Hendrick Motorsports-run Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 within the invitational Storage 56 class to mark the inventory automobile championship’s seventy fifth anniversary.

Button will share the cockpit with Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.

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