“Being a NASCAR team owner is a very important step in my professional career,” said Papis. “I am excited to create a working platform that will act as a bridge between racing in the United States and Europe, creating opportunities for drivers and technicians to experience the best of the two worlds combined.”
Kevin Gilardoni will drive the No. 99 racecar in the Elite division. The 21-year old Italian driver has competed in the Eurocup Megane Trophy and Formula Renault 2.0 series, showing great talent and potential with multiple wins, pole positions, and podium finishes in the past three seasons.
“It is great to see a successful global racer like Max Papis become an owner in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series,” said Joe Balash, NASCAR’s International Competition Liaison. “Max understands what it takes to reach the highest levels of NASCAR racing and is perfectly positioned to share that knowledge by having a team compete in the series. His international racing experience will benefit everyone.”
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will begin its third season under the NASCAR banner with the season opener April 12-13 at Valencia in Spain. The six race-weekend schedule also includes stops at England’s Brands Hatch, Germany’s Nürburgring and the championship weekend at France’s famed LeMans. In addition, the series competes on the first purpose-built oval for stock cars in Europe, Tours Speedway in France.