Thomas Krasonis made his United States racing debut on Wednesday night through his participation in New Smyrna’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
Through his participation in New Smyrna Speedway’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing on Wednesday night, Thomas Krasonis had completed his first race in the United States. Krasonis was given the opportunity to race Jamie Skinner’s No. 16K Chevrolet late model for three races this week, which included today’s Hart to Heart 100 main event.
“I’ll be racing three times this week and it’ll be my first time on an oval,” said Krasonis to euronascar.com. “I’m so excited because I’ve waited too long to have a racing experience like this. I have no stress or expectations, I just want to learn and enjoy the moment. Those are the most important things.”
Krasonis’ participation meant that he’ll follow the footsteps of Gil Linster, who had participated – and scored a top-10 finish – in two of World Series’ Pro Late Model class races last week on his first US race in more than two years.
With World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing’s status as one of the biggest short track events in the US, the event presented the 21-year old driver with an amazing opportunity to make his on-track debut in the States.
“It’s a very important event and a great way to kick off my oval racing career in the US,” said the US-bound Krasonis on the World Series. “This is my transition from European to American racing and I have been racing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for three years now.”
“It’s time to add something new and there’s no better way to start than with the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing here at New Smyrna Speedway.”
Krasonis’ debut race took place on Wednesday night where he and 29 other drivers duked it out for the Pro Late Model supremacy at New Smyrna. After an exciting Qualifying session that saw young talents Katie Hettinger and Conner Jones take turns in becoming the fastest driver in the session, the Greek placed his No. 16K Chevrolet 21st on the grid for the 35-lap race.
In a chaotic race that had numerous caution periods, Krasonis’ day sadly ended on a low note. Having kept his car clean in the early stages of the race to log in some important track mileage and experience, Krasonis was involved in a multi-car accident that took him and four other drivers out of the race.
“The first race in the US was an amazing experience!” said Krasonis on social media. “I lived through stuff I never saw in my racing life, such as the lack of race control and the chaos that ensued on track as the race progressed. It was one of the most difficult and demanding stuff I had ever had to do, especially in terms of the adrenaline rush I had.”
“I started the race from P21 out of 33 drivers, and I was close to P15 when a huge accident happened that ruled out 5 cars, including mine, as I couldn’t avoid them. This happened after 5 previous restarts due to other accidents. The most insane thing is that the race lasts 35 laps, which counts only under green flag conditions.”
Despite this setback, Krasonis is confident in his outlook for today’s main event race as he thanked those who had supported his journey to the States.
“We move on and prepare ourselves for the big 100-lap race on Friday. I want to thank everyone for their support and the messages I’ve received. Let’s go!” said the 21-year old driver.
Disclaimer: Credits for all photos are listed underneath each image.