Martinsville, Virginia, USA (March 27, 2010) History was made today as Narain Karthikeyan became the first ever Indian-born driver to compete in a NASCAR Series. Karthikeyan debuted in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on March 27 in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville (Virginia, USA) Speedway. Driving the No. 60 SafeAuto Chevrolet Silverado, Karthikeyan finished on the lead lap in 13th place out of 36 entries after a grueling 250 lap action-packed race.
"This kind of racing is completely different from what I am used to, a lot of shoving and banging, but once I started running it felt good. My goal today was to stay out of trouble, finish the race and do the best that I could. I am very happy to have finished the race in the 13th spot," said Karthikeyan following the race.
At the conclusion of the race, Starbeast Motorsports Team Owner, Miguel Abaroa, said, "We are very proud of him and the result he got today. To finish 13th out of 36 trucks at Martinsville in his first ever NASCAR race is incredible! We threw him to the wolves by starting him here and he responded very well. We couldn't be more excited to have Narain representing Starbeast and we see a very bright future for him in NASCAR."
At only half a mile in length, Martinsville Speedway is regarded as one of the toughest tracks on the NASCAR calendar. The race track known as "The Paperclip" delivered its share of bumps and bruises to the NASCAR Rookie. In Lap 114, Karthikeyan got caught up in a wreck but managed to avoid major damage. Lap 152 saw him scrap the inside of the backstretch wall while his truck got loose and was turned backward in Lap 200. Through it all, Karthikeyan sustained minimal damage and was able to continually press forward to gain track position.
"The biggest thing I saw with Narain today was his composure" said Crew Chief, Chad Kendrick. "Through all of the hits and spinouts, he never wavered, never lost his temper, never got flustered. He just stayed focused. He is determined to do well and you could tell throughout the day. This being his first time at Martinsville and in a stock car race, this is an unbelievable finish."
Veteran NASCAR driver, Stacy Compton of Wyler Racing, served as Narain's spotter during the race and was pleased with the outcome of the race, as well as Karthikeyan's ability to adapt quickly to driving in a stock car in such a tough environment.
"He was patient when he needed to be today and did a good job of racing this race track. Certainly this was a very impressive run for him," said Compton.
Karthikeyan will race in at least nine more NASCAR truck races this season with his next race being on May 2 at Kansas Speedway. The Kansas race will be shown in India on NEO Sports and in the USA on Speed Channel.
About Starbeast Motorsports
Starbeast Motorsports was founded in 2009 as a racing team that seeks to develop foreign drivers with the intent of introducing NASCAR to markets around the world. Through strategic alliances with companies like JTG Daugherty Racing and Wyler Racing, Starbeast Motorsports works to position international drivers for opportunities to maximize NASCAR's global growth efforts. For more information on Starbeast Motorsports, please visit www.starbeastmotorsports.com.
About Wyler Racing
Wyler Racing returns to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) in 2010 for its fifth full-time season, after making its series debut in 2005. In their very first fully fledged season in the NCWTS, Wyler Racing grabbed two wins, two pole positions, 10 top-five, and 14 top-10s, finishing fifth in points overall. The following year, Wyler Racing backed that up by winning one race, scoring two pole positions, taking six top-five, 10 top-10s and finishing ninth in points overall. In 2008, Terry Cook and Jack Sprague shared the ride, together earning two top-five and seven top-10 finishes, producing a 12th place finish in the Owner's Point Standings. Last year, Stacy Compton was named the team's driver and went on to collect nine top-10s en route to an 11th place finish in the standings. For more information on Wyler Racing, please visit www.wylerracing.com.