During the Hockenheimring test days on the 5th of November, Justin Kunz and his family visited DF1 Racing. During a nice dinner the team and the driver discussed the last details for the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. By handshake, the contract for the upcoming season was sealed by DF1 motorsport boss Norbert Walchhofer and DF1 tiger Justin Kunz.
The breaking news is that Kunz will only compete in the top division of EuroNASCAR, the EuroNASCAR PRO championship.
For five years, Kunz is successfully racing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and he has his goals already set: Together with the team, the German wants to finish the season in the front. “A top-10 finish in 2020 should be possible and a top-5 spot would be awesome,” said Kunz.
Kunz is already looking forward to the EuroNASCAR finals in 2020 that will take place on his home track, the Hockenheimring, on October 17-18, 2020.
“It’s a highlight for me, my supporters and sponsors to finish the season right at my door step. I hope to score some good results during the finals in Hockenheim. I want to thank everybody at the Hockenheimring for the great partnership as well. With the help of DF1 Racing, I will do all my best to promote this great race track and to spread the NASCAR virus in Germany further.”
DF1 Racing has also developed well in the last season and wants to expand its marketing activities. Together with DF1 tiger Kunz the team wants to raise the popularity of the EuroNASCAR finals in Hockenheim.
DF1 Racing visited the Kunz car shop at Appenweier on the 16th of November and Justin Kunz signed his DF1 Racing contract extension for the 2020 season. The team is looking forward to a great 2020 season with Kunz.
Justin Kunz from Appenweier is a real NASCAR veteran despite his young 22 years. The racer contested his fourth season in the European NASCAR series in 2019 and landed in the top 10 of the EuroNASCAR 2 championship for the third time in a row. The Dexwet-Df1 Racing driver experienced a season of ups and downs.
The year 2019 started for the German from the Black Forest with a low point: After a strong qualifying, which was enough for fifth place, Kunz ended up in 22nd place in Valencia, Spain, due to a drive-through penalty, but Kunz couldn’t be stopped! In the Sunday run, the youngster moved up from 13th to ninth place. On the first weekend, Kunz secured his first top 10 result of the new season.
In Franciacorta, Italy, Kunz, who already had a start in the American NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, really got going. The technical and demanding course in Northern Italy suits the racing driver from Appenweier very well, which is also reflected in the results: In the first run, Kunz secured his first top 5 result of 2019 in fourth place. On Sunday he drove his 400 hp Chevrolet Camaro in seventh place.
“The start of the season was not perfect, but then we had a strong weekend in Italy,” said Kunz, who wanted to fight for the title. “I lost important points to the front in Spain, but caught up again in Italy. Franciacorta is a technically demanding circuit and I am delighted to have achieved such good results on such demanding routes.”
The popular race weekend at Brands Hatch was again a roller coaster of emotions for Kunz. The 22-year-old from Baden-Württemberg finished eighth in the first race – it was the fourth top 10 result in a row. At the start, Kunz had swung out to avoid a collision. After the drive-through penalty for the false start, Kunz plowed through the field back into the top 10. On Sunday, after a mixed race, it was only enough for 14th place, which is why the title moved far away again.
The NWES debut at the Autodrom Most was an absolute highlight of the season for Kunz. After a difficult Sunday in the UK, the Dexwet Df1 driver really triumphed in the Czech Republic. Fifth and tenth followed the fifth top 10 and second top 5 result of the 2019 season. In the Sunday race, Kunz managed to finish in the top ten despite a drive-through penalty. In Venray, the only oval race of the year, Kunz finished eleventh.
“I’m not really happy with the regular season because I wanted to be involved in the title fight,” explains Kunz. “However, we lacked consistency and we were always unlucky. Our pace was good and I have shown that I can keep up at the top. However, the small setbacks meant that the drivers were ahead of us in the overall standings.”
The playoffs were a disaster for Kunz! Due to a technical problem, the German missed his first home race in Hockenheim, which finally shattered the dream of winning the title. On Sunday he drove to the 21st place with technical problems. Despite the difficulties at the Hockenheimring, Kunz struck back in Zolder, Belgium: on Saturday he finished fifth. Kunz finished the last race of the 2019 season in eleventh place.
“Overall, it was a season of ups and downs,” explains Kunz. “The good results give me hope to be able to fight for the EuroNASCAR 2 title. But the bad luck with technology has to stop. I also have to work on the consistency, which is extremely important in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Now I work to start again in the NWES season 2020. I thank the team, the sponsors and my fans for the great support. ” For the third time in a row, Kunz has finished the EuroNASCAR 2 championship in the top 10. He finished ninth overall.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series 2020 takes place in seven different countries: Spain, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Germany. Kunz hopes to receive the title at the first German final in the history of the NWES.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series made its first guest appearance at the Autodrom Most in Eastern Europe and captivated more than 20,000 spectators. In the middle: Justin Kunz from Germany. The Dexwet DF1 driver is one of the top pilots of the ELITE 2 division 2019 and wants to have a chance to win the title until the end.
But before the teams and drivers were allowed on the track, there was a very special program item on Thursday, which Kunz enjoyed very much: The police escorted the EuroNASCAR vehicles via public roads to a fairground in downtown Most, where hundreds of NASCARs Fans were waiting for their idols. “The parade on Thursday was a great start to the weekend for us,” says Kunz.
The actual race weekend in Most started on Friday with the free practice sessions, in which Kunz put the Green Tiger with the starting number 99 through its paces. “I had already tested in Most and won a prototype. The track really suits me very well,” Kunz said before the races. In the first training session, the racer from Appenweier finished ninth.
“The first training session was okay,” said Kunz. “Nevertheless, due to the new parts that will be used in the 2019 season, we had to adjust the setup further. We had previously tested here with the old kit.” The second training session was a bit mixed because the drivers of number 99 had to struggle with a loss of performance. “There were problems with the distributor and we also had to readjust the carburetor, but after that the Chevrolet Camaro ran really smoothly. Many thanks to the entire team for the great performance!”
The qualifying session started on Saturday: Kunz showed a strong performance in Q1 and qualified seventh for the Superpole. “The car went really well,” says Kunz, who always qualified for the second qualifying session in 2019, which is about pole position.
“We didn’t have much time in Superpole: I had a little slowdown in the first lap,” reports Kunz. “In the second lap I was really fast in the first two sectors, but then the track in front of me was dirty, which is why I got off course.” In the end, the Dexwet Df1 driver qualified in 12th place.
In the first race, he then made a brilliant recovery. After 14 laps, Kunz crossed the finish line in fifth place. It was already the second top 5 result for Kunz in 2019. “I drove up to fifth place, which was really strong,” he says. “Of course I would have liked to have finished on the podium, but I’m happy with the performance.”
Kunz started the second race in his “really fast” Chevrolet from fifth place. However, the disillusionment came early: After contact with Andre Castro, Kunz had to serve a drive-through penalty. Even so, Kunz never gave up! He drove up to tenth in his Dexwet DF1 Chevrolet, securing his sixth consecutive top 10 result.
“Of course that was damage limitation because it didn’t go as we hoped,” says Kunz. “The drive-through penalty was very unfortunate and destroyed the whole plan. But I have proven to be quick and we can build on that. Now I’m looking forward to the race in Venray. ”
Kunz is fifth in the championship, 54 points behind leader Giorgio Maggi. On July 13th and 14th, the only oval race of the 2019 NWES season is on the program at Raceway Venray in the Netherlands. It is a route that Kunz already knows very well from his past.
The American SpeedFest at Brands Hatch in the UK is the most popular event on the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series calendar. The almost 2 kilometers long Indy circuit of the traditional race track is being driven, on which Justin Kunz started for the third time in his career in front of more than 40,000 spectators. The 21-year-old had hoped to get a good position in the ELITE 2 title fight. Despite a setback, the title is still within reach.
On Friday, the team around dexwet-df1 racing had to screw a lot on the Chevrolet Camaro to optimize the car. The result was that Kunz spent little time in the vehicle during training. The team managed to eliminate the technical problems and to provide the racing driver from Appenweier with a fast car.
This was demonstrated by Kunz in qualifying: In Q1, the German took a strong third place. For the Superpole, the team tried again to adjust the vehicle settings. The poker didn’t pay off, which is why Kunz only qualified for tenth starting position.
In the first race, he was on the podium until the race management thwarted him. Kunz had to drive through for a false start. Instead of achieving a podium placement that was believed to be safe, Kunz had to start catching up. He plowed back into the top 10 through the field and finally snatched eighth place. It was the fourth top 10 result of the German in the NWES season 2019.
“Overall, I’m not very happy with the weekend,” said Kunz. “On Friday the car didn’t really run smoothly. The team gave everything and fixed the mistake. However, I missed track time. Qualifying went really well. Thanks to the 20 minutes, I was able to make up for the lack of time from training. We improved the setup and qualified for the Superpole. Unfortunately, the following adjustments did not work, which is why I only ended up in 10th place.”
“I had to start the first race on the outside track, which was not optimal,” explains the 21-year-old. “At the start, I had to avoid Advait Deodhar, who didn’t find the right gear. He told me after the race. Yes, I passed him in front of the line, but only to prevent an accident. He was like a wall in front me. Still, I was punished for it. Fortunately, I managed to finish eighth. ”
In the second race, Kunz started from eleventh. The experienced EuroNASCAR driver got stuck in midfield and could not put his stamp on the race. In front of a restart the man in front did not get away properly, which is why Kunz lost two positions. An evasive maneuver was the reason why Kunz lost another place. With 14th place the set goal was not achieved, but nevertheless he scored important points for the championship. “In the second race I just got stuck in traffic. When I restarted the car in front didn’t really get going, which is why I lost two positions. I then had to avoid a damaged vehicle, which cost me another position. That was why unfortunately no more than 14th place. Still, we took some good points home. I’m still within reach to successfully complete the title win mission. ”
In the championship, Kunz shares fifth place with his team-mate Lasse Sörensen, who has already won three races, and Myatt Snider from America. The three drivers are only 38 points behind Giorgio Maggi, who defended his championship lead at Brands Hatch.
On June 29th and 30th, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series starts at the Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic. It is the first guest appearance by the European NASCAR branch in Eastern Europe. “I am looking forward to the race in Most because I really like the track,” said Kunz, who has already completed a test drive on the very technical track. “I am sure that there we will have a good chance of winning important points in the fight for the title.”
Justin Kunz starts in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series 2019 for the team of dexwet-df1 racing. With the Dexwet factory racing team, the racer from Appenweier wants to finally make the breakthrough in the European NASCAR series and fight for the title in the ELITE 2 division. After the first four races, the 21-year-old is in a solid fourth place in the overall standings. The title seems within your grasp.
In Valencia, Kunz set the first exclamation mark in qualifying: he qualified for the season opener in a strong fifth place. The German showed a promising pace in the race. However, he was slowed down by a drive-through penalty and Kunz only landed in midfield. In the second race, the Dexwet driver secured the first top 10 result in the 2019 season with ninth place.
“The team managed to improve the car on Friday evening, which is why I ended up in fifth place in qualifying,” summarizes Kunz. “The first race went really well. However, I was stopped a bit by a competitor. I was punished for contacting number 77, which is why I couldn’t get a top position. In the second race I had a small accident right at the start. Nevertheless, I am drove up to ninth place. I’m not 100 percent satisfied with the season opener. ”
Things went much better for Kunz at the Italian Autodromo di Franciacorta. In qualifying, he finished seventh – although his best lap was canceled due to the failure to respect the track limits. In the first race, Kunz drove to number four in his number 99 Chevrolet Camaro. It was the 21-year-old’s first top 5 result in the current season. In the second race, Kunz made it to a solid seventh place. With his 106 points, he is currently fourth in the overall ranking. The racer from Appenweier is thus at the forefront of the ELITE 2 division.
“I was sick all week and therefore not 100 percent,” explains Kunz. “Because of the crash in Valencia, we had to go for a new car. Here we had to learn how to deal with the new parts. We tried a lot in the training sessions. Unfortunately, we didn’t come up with a green branch. After a lot of work, we have we managed to get a good car for qualifying.”
“Unfortunately, my best time was canceled because of the track limits, I saw it differently. Fortunately, we finished fourth in the race. But with the failures and safety car phases there was also a bit of luck because it is so difficult to overtake here “In the second race I got stuck behind Bert Longin. Luckily there was a situation where I was able to scurry past. That was why we only finished seventh. But we proved that we can win. I am really happy for my team-mate Lasse Sörensen, who took his first win.”
The next races of the ELITE 2 championship will take place on June 1st and 2nd at Brands Hatch in the UK. The American Speedfest is the most popular event of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series with an average of 50,000 visitors. Qualifying and all races will be broadcast live free of charge via the official channels of EuroNASCAR. More information is available on www.euronascar.com
The contract is signed and the ink is already dry: Last Sunday Justin Kunz signed his contract with dexwet-df1 racing. The racing driver from Appenweier (Germany) will share the car with DTM legend Ellen Lohr and is set to fight for the title in the Elite2 championship. The 21-year-old already gained a lot of experience in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) and has already celebrated his first successes in the European series. “I’m delighted to have signed with dexwet-df1 racing,” said Kunz, who will be driving the #99 Chevrolet Camaro for the factory team of filter specialist Dexwet.
“I already know two of the mechanics very well and that’s why it already feels like home. I already had my seat test and was allowed to turn on the new engine. I didn’t want to get out of ‘my’ NASCAR car anymore.” In 2019 Kunz wants to attack in the Elite2 Division and grab the title. He says: “I believe I can celebrate victories with dexwet-df1 racing. The Chevrolet is in perfect condition and will certainly serve me well. My goal is to win the Elite2 championship. This is what the team and I want to do and we will do everything we can to achieve this goal. The season kicks off for me next week, because the first days of testing are on the agenda.” Kunz is particularly pleased that he will share the car with Lohr. He explained: “I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from Ellen. She has a lot of experience and was very successful. But I’m also looking forward to work with the other drivers. Together we can achieve a lot”.
Dexwet Motorsport Director Norbert Walchhofer said: “The entire management is delighted that Justin has decided to join us. We recognized his talent and potential. We have planned something great with him, which is why we concluded a long-term contract with him. He has now spent several years in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and the apprenticeship years are definitely over. Our common goal is to win the championship in the Elite2 Division in the 2019 season. The whole team will help Justin to show his full potential.” Team boss and Dexwet CEO Clemens Sparowitz also agreed on that.
In 2016 Kunz entered the NWES at CAAL Racing. He took part in eleven of the twelve races and secured tenth place overall. In 2017 Kunz moved to PK Carsport, where he competed in all races. After twelve runs, the German was finally ranked sixth. In 2018, the 20-year-old raced for Racing-Total in both divisions, the Elite1 and Elite2 championships, gaining important experience for the 2019 NWES season. In 2018 Kunz also raced in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in Canada.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series kicks off on 13-14 April at Valencia, Spain. The European NASCAR series will then race in Italy, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. The semi-final will take place on 21-22 September at Hockenheim (Germany). The championship finals will take place on 5-6 October at Zolder (Belgium), where the final races traditionally are held.
After the fabulous result at Tours Speedway, where Kunz scored his very first top 3 result, he will write NASCAR history: Justin Kunz will be in Carlington, Canada on the 26th of August to compete in the American truck series (Chevrolet Silverado 250, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park). The 21-year-old is after Alexander Müller the second German, who will contest a race in the 3rd NASCAR League.
“A dream come true. An indescribable feeling that it is really happening now. I’ve had a long-lasting grin on my face for days” says the newcomer. He will be at the wheel of the second Chevrolet Silverado (# 0) of Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing.
The start was made possible not only by donations and sponsorship funds from the environment of Kunz, but also by team owner Cobb herself. Kunz explains: “It’s just unbelievable. I will give everything to go as far as possible. Jennifer believes in me and wants to fulfill this dream. I thank her and all my supporters who help me on this great journey”.
Cobb, who will also compete in the race, jokes in the lead-up: “My biggest challenge will be to explain to Justin how expensive our bodies are, even if they are minimally damaged.” The 45-year-old American from Kansas City has competed in 164 truck races over the past 17 years. Kunz “has everything on and off the track” to succeed in Mosport. “If I did not believe in him, I would not have invited him to this race.”
Kunz will travel to the USA for a seat rehearsal a week before the race. He looks forward to the days he will spend with Cobb and their truck team before the race. “I will start without pressure and try to make the most of this opportunity. It is also important for me to make contacts there in order to build something bigger. “
The German is walking on the paths of his Euro-NASCAR colleagues, who have also made it from Europe to the United States. While Alon Day has made guest appearances in both the NASCAR Cup and the Tuck and Xfinity series, Anthony Kumpen and Anthony Gandon have participated in Xfinity series races. Kunz is the fourth NASCAR Euro Series driver to start one of the three major NASCAR leagues. Kunz is currently racing for the NASCAR Euro Series for Racing Total, where he will participate in both the ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 championships. Currently he is 15th in the NASCAR Euro ELITE 1 division and 11th in the ELITE 2 division.
The past race weekend in Tours (France) was a very special one for Justin Kunz. Thanks to the good work of everyone in the team, he had a top car during the Oval World Challenge, with which he finished 3rd in the Elite 2 qualifying. A very good sign! Even though it was a very exhausting weekend that demanded everything of him (35 degrees outside temperature and 70 degrees inside the car) there was reason to celebrate on Saturday night: In the Saturday race of the elite 2 Kunz went to namely on the podium for the first time in NASCAR! So often, the youngster was already close to it and was kept away by unfortunate conditions. But this time he was finally rewarded for all the hardships: he landed on the second place! So, he is the first German on the podium in the NASCAR. The knot has finally burst!
“I am very grateful to my team for this moment of happiness that I really needed. Everything is possible and sooner or later the first victory will be achieved, “said Kunz happily and hopefully after this great success.
Unfortunaly, in the Sunday race of the Elite 2 Kunz was again involved in a crash that caused his differential in smoke and he had no more propulsion. But the positive outweighs this magical weekend. Now he has an offer for a race of the 3rd Nascar League in the United States, which will take place on August 26, 2018 at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. To accept this offer and to be able to start there, he needs 30 000 euros. Justin Kunz now hopes for the support and help of future sponsors.
Last weekend, Justin Kunz was busy at the Autodromo di Franciacorta in Italy: he was allowed to compete in both classes. This meant that he had to master two races in Elite 1 (pros) and two races in Elite 2 (offspring).
At first, this weekend could not have started better, because the fastest lap of practice went to Kunz. So, the plan for the further qualifying was fixed: namely to repeat what had been achieved the previous day. The priority was Elite 2; this meant that in Elite 1 qualifying, they wanted to “save” the good tires and therefore he only started from 19th place. Kunz was the first to get out of the pits in the only 8-minute Elite 2 qualifying. But back on start (or finish), still the last drivers drove from the pit lane (because of the delay), so Kunz had slower traffic in front of him and the good tires could not fully exploited. So he reached only 10th place.
The elite 1 Saturday race started with a contact in the starting phase, which reversed Justin’s Ford Mustang and damaged the front left tire. Fortunately, the tire still held until the end. At the end of the field, it continued for the youngster, who still landed at position 13. The elite 2 race on Saturday afternoon went off without major incidents, Kunz became 8th.
Sunday morning, Kunz started in the second race of the Elite 2. The start went smoothly so far, but the accident should only take its turn in turn three: To avoid a transverse vehicle, the entire field came together very closely; The pilot who drove behind Kunz gave a flat rear tire. So the # 46 had to pit for a wheel change and was at the end of the field. What came next was a race to catch up to position 7. The following Elite 1 race had Kunz on Sunday due to the limited number of tires and the two punctures with two older slicks contest. Since Kunz had to fight due to the older tires with less grip, he saw again the checkered flag as number 13.
“If you have a puncture you already have almost lost here. But the guys from my team did a great job. I just gave everything to make them a little bit happy. It was just a mega race! “commented Justin after the race on the events.
If you want to be there live, you should book the 14th – 16th September, because then the American Fan Fest will take place at the Hockenheimring.