Miguel Gomes is scheduled to take part in his first United States outing this week after he linked up with prominent ARCA Menards Series team Fast Track Racing for ARCA’s annual pre-season test at Daytona International Speedway.
Miguel Gomes, EuroNASCAR’s first full-time Portuguese driver, is heading to the United States for a special day in his life as the 41-year old is scheduled to participate in ARCA Menards Series’ annual pre-season test at Daytona International Speedway this week.
The announcement came after his name was listed by ARCA on 10 January as one of the sixty-one drivers scheduled to take part in the pre-season test. Gomes will be driving for Fast Track Racing, a team with a well established presence in ARCA in recent years. Gomes will be joined by twelve other drivers at Fast Track, six of whom were selected to participate via ARCA’s “Road to Daytona” program.
Gomes has driven the high banks of Daytona many times in the virtual world thanks to his iRacing background, but the ARCA test will be the first time that he got the chance to drive the legendary super speedway in person.
“It is a big dream for me to race at Daytona and being able to participate in this ARCA test is already amazing!” said Gomes on the upcoming ARCA test.
“Alongside my background in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, I have oval racing experience from the European Late Model Series and I also raced in Rockingham, the 1.5 mile oval in the UK, but racing at a super speedway like Daytona will be the first time for me. The only way I can prepare is in the simulator. I’ve raced there many times in iRacing and look forward to seeing how it is in real life.”
Gomes is a two-year veteran in EuroNASCAR, having first competed in 2021 after he signed a contract with Marko Stipp Motorsport to compete in the EuroNASCAR 2 division. His first year only resulted in a single top-10 finish – a 9th place finish at Most, but he was able to finish third in both the Legend Trophy and the Rookie Trophy sub-classifications.
Gomes enjoyed a better season in 2022 as he started off the year with a ninth place finish at Valencia, equalling his best finish from last year. He went on to score two more top-10 finishes and remained in contention for the overall victory in Legend Trophy for most of the season, eventually finishing 16th in the standings after a costly double DNF at Rijeka.
Gomes is currently in negotiations with MSM to secure another contract extension for the 2023 season. While the negotiations remained underway, MSM’s team owner Marko Stipp worked together with the Portuguese to give him the chance to test the ARCA Menards Series cars.
“We’re very happy for Miguel to have this opportunity,” said Stipp to euronascar.com. “We support him all the way as we know it has always been a dream of his to race in the US.”
“It’s great that with Fast Track Racing we could suggest a renowned team to him through our contact to team owner Andy Hillenburg. I’m sure it will be a great experience for everyone that at the same time will strengthen the US-European bonds.”
Disclaimer: Unless noted on the photo, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese / Klemen Sofric.