Kamui Kobayashi Set to Enhance Preparation for NASCAR Cup Race at COTA

Published Categorized as NASCAR No Comments on Kamui Kobayashi Set to Enhance Preparation for NASCAR Cup Race at COTA

Kamui Kobayashi, aged 37, made headlines last year as the first Japanese driver to compete in a Cup race in two decades, debuting at the Indianapolis Road Course. Despite starting 28th and facing a few challenges during the event, he finished 33rd.

Now, the 2021 Le Mans 24 overall winner gears up for his second start with 23XI Racing’s No. 50 Toyota team at Circuit of the Americas. This time, Kobayashi enters the race with a more prepared mindset, drawing from his extensive racing experience.

Reflecting on his debut at Indy, Kobayashi remarked, “I was a little bit surprised, but the race went quite smooth. I had great fun, although it was quite challenging at the back end of the field.” With Mobil 1’s 50th anniversary sponsorship at COTA, Kobayashi feels more equipped, having raced at the track five times previously in Formula 1 and WEC.

His familiarity with the track and having completed one full race in the Next Gen Cup car should provide a stronger foundation for his second Cup Series road course event. “I think the second time I can manage myself better, and I’m putting in the preparation now. I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the simulator,” he added.

While Kobayashi garnered attention in Formula 1 with 75 starts and a podium finish in the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix, his true success lies in sports car racing, where he’s won two FIA World Endurance Championships and the LM24 triumph. He currently serves as the team principal for the Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC team.

For Kobayashi, NASCAR offers a completely new experience compared to racing overseas. He appreciates NASCAR’s simplicity, noting that it fosters better connectivity between fans and drivers compared to other motorsports. However, questions arise about his potential venture into oval racing.

When asked about the possibility of racing on an oval, Kobayashi expressed interest, albeit cautiously. He acknowledged the unique challenges and spectacle of oval racing, hinting at a potential future endeavor, perhaps starting with a Truck race at Bristol.

Also read: Joey Logano Tops Denny Hamlin in NASCAR Cup Practice at Phoenix

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