Today, Dexwet-DF1 Racing announced in a press release that Justin Kunz will be promoted to the newly-rebranded EuroNASCAR PRO division for the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.
This will be Kunz’s second season in EuroNASCAR PRO, having previously competed in the then-Elite 1 class in 2018. Driving the No. 46 team for Racing-Total, Kunz finished 11th in the 2018 Elite 1 standings despite not scoring a single Top 10 finish throughout the year – his best finish that year was 12th, which he achieved in the second Elite 1 race at Franciacorta.
The announcement also makes Kunz the first driver to confirm their plans to compete in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season.
Kunz, his family, and Dexwet-DF1 reached an agreement for the new contract after they held a discussion regarding the details for Kunz’s 2020 contract in a dinner that was held after the team held a private test at Hockenheim on 5 November. Kunz then subsequently signed the contract at his family’s car dealership at his home town Appenweier on 16 November.
“It’s a highlight for me, my supporters and sponsors to finish the season right at my door step,” said Kunz in the press release. “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.”
Despite being only 22 years old, Justin Kunz is among one of the more experienced drivers in the series as he had amassed a total of 58 starts across both classes. He made his debut in the series with CAAL Racing in 2016, driving the No. 44 team in Elite 2 before moving to PK Carsport to once again compete in Elite 2 with the No. 11 team in 2017.
For the 2018 season, Kunz ran double duty in the No. 46 Racing-Total team and scored his first career podium that year after he finished 2nd behind eventual 2018 Elite 2 champion Ulysse Delsaux in the first Elite 2 race at Tours Speedway. He also made a start in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series that year as he drove Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing’s No. 0 Chevrolet Silverado in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He finished the race in 26th place, the last car still running and three laps down from race winner Justin Haley.
The 2019 season saw Kunz switching teams once again as he moved to Dexwet-DF1 Racing to drive the No. 99 Camaro full-time. He finished 9th in the final standings, scoring 3 Top 5 and 6 Top 10 finishes in 2019 with a best finish of 4th in the first race at Franciacorta.
It is expected that Kunz will be staying in the seat of the No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro for the 2020 season, although it is unknown whether Kunz will be the sole EuroNASCAR PRO driver for Dexwet-DF1 in 2020 or whether Dexwet-DF1 will attempt to field two cars in EuroNASCAR PRO for 2020.
Dexwet-DF1 Racing initially planned to field both the No. 66 and the No. 99 team in Elite 1 during the course of the 2019 season, but Christophe Bouchut’s mid-season leave meant that the team forced to undergo a mid-season restructuring. The No. 99 team continued to compete in both classes full-time, while the No. 66 team was turned into an Elite 2-only team to focus on Lasse Sørensen’s championship-winning campaign.
The 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will start on 25-26 April 2020 with the traditional season opening round, the Valencia NASCAR Fest at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain. The 2020 season will once again feature 13 races in 7 countries, with Vallelunga scheduled to be making their first appearance in the series’ calendar while Hockenheim will host the season finale round for the first time ever.
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos are courtesy of Dexwet-DF1 Racing.