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.
Justin Kunz will again be on the grid for the upcoming season of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. The young german will start his third season in EuroNASCAR with a new challenge.
From 2018 on Justin will be driving for the german Racing-Total team, which plans to run two cars in the series next year.
Justin about his new team: “I´m very happy to be able to work with the Racing Total team next year. With the whole team being german it makes it a bit easier off the track, too. I can´t wait to get back in the car and i am looking forward to the next season”.
What a weekend! With the season final in Zolder (B) my second season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series has gone by.
I started from P7 into the Saturday race and was on P4 when the safety car came out. The race was restarted for 2 laps and I was virtually on P3, but I got touched at the rear. So I had to stabilize the car and stayed on P4 narrowly on the podium.
That should change in the Sunday race. Mostly the whole race distance I was driving on P3. But 2 laps to go the guy on P4 saw a space and wanted to pass me in the gras. Normally it is clear that this move will end in a crash. He drove into my side and both of us where out. Bye 3rd place and podium. In the end I finished P11.
Nevertheless it was a great weekend and a big thanks goes to my team PK Carpsort and to all the sponsors which made it all possible.
With P6 in the Championship, there is enough motivation for the season 2018!
Justin Kunz had high hopes heading to the start of the EuroNASCAR Playoffs in Italy, as the 20-year old had the chance to test at the Autodromo di Franciacorta earlier this month.
Starting the weekend with lots of momentum the german was running in the top spots during the free practice sessions, however he had to settle for 13th on the grid. With the track conditions getting worse later in the session, the No. #11 PK Carsport Chevrolet was sent out on track too late to qualify up in front.
The 2.5 kilometer track of Franciacorta is quite narrow, so it´s quite difficult to make up some ground from the middle of the pack. Still Kunz managed to move up the ranks finishing in 9th place. After Kunz received a grid penalty for the 2nd race of the weekend, he had to settle for 9th again at the chequered flag.
His speed during the weekend was encouraging, so the youngster is now looking forward to the season finals at Circuit Zolder in Belgium in October.
Pictures ©NASCAR Whelen Euro Series/Stephane Azemard
Euro NASCAR Hockenheim 2017
My home race at the Hockenheimring is already in the books. I had quite a difficult weekend i have to admit. After some issues in the qualifying session i had to start the first race from 14th on the grid.
I managed to gain some positions and finished in P6. For the second race of the weekend i definitely was looking for a better finish, but after the stewards handed out a drive-trough penalty, there was no chance of a podium anymore. The cause for the penalty was the double-file start of the race, the stewards decided i made my move too early….
At least i managed to pick up a few slots, but 14th at the end was not what i had expected. Still it was great to drive at “home” – especially the fans were just amazing. With the summer break now going on, i´ll have to wait until September to get back in the car. Prior to our next races at Franciacorta in Italy in the middle of september, i will have the chance to test at the track.
With double points on hand in each race starting in Italy, i am looking forward to moving up the ranks. Stay tuned and thanks to all fans and my partners for the support.
Welcome to justin-kunz.de, the official website of german racing driver Justin Kunz from Appenweier, who is racing in his 2nd season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. We are just starting with the website, so stay tuned for more information about Justin.