After a two-year hiatus from racing in NASCAR’s National Series, Akinori Ogata will make his return to the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series when the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday for the Vankor 350.
Ogata, the 46-year old from Kanagawa, Japan will pilot the No. 33 Toyota Tundra for Reaume Brothers Racing, his first series start for the Josh Reaume owned organization.
The Japan-native’s most recent NASCAR National Series race was in 2018, when he drove the No. 66 for Carl Long and MBM Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Phoenix Raceway, finishing in the 33rd-position. Ogata’s most recent NASCAR Truck Series start had come just two weeks before that, when he drove the No. 63 for Mike Mittler and MB Motorsports at Atlanta, finishing 30th after being involved in an accident halfway through the race.
Saturday will mark Ogata’s first race at Texas Motor Speedway and his eighth start in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, where his career-best finish in an 18th-place run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2015.
So far this season, RBR has earned a single top-ten finish this season, when Jason White piloted the No. 33 – the same truck Ogata will drive Saturday at Texas — to a tenth-place finish in the season-opener at Daytona. In the series’ subsequent six races, the team has failed to earn an additional top-twenty finish.
Through five starts at the mile-and-a-half race track, Reaume Brothers Racing has earned three top-twenty finishes, including having both of their entries finish inside the top-twenty the last time the series visited the track in 2019.