Loris Hezemans, a two-time NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion, will officially make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in Sunday’s Echo Park Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas, according to a press release from the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Hezemans will drive the No. 27 Team Hezeberg powered by Reaume Brothers entry.
While Hezemans and Team Hezeberg were on the preliminary entry list, no official announcement from the team had been made. Josh Reaume confirmed to TobyChristie.com that Team Hezeberg is preparing their car to run this weekend at COTA with Hezemans driving.
For Hezemans, it still doesn’t feel real that he’ll be competing at the highest level of NASCAR this weekend.
“The idea that I will be making my NASCAR Cup series debut still feels surreal, from watching many of the great Cup drivers on TV to now being able to compete in a Cup series race with them is a very humbling experience and something I am very grateful for,” said Hezemans in a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series release. “My main focus for the weekend will be to work as closely as possible with the team on our long run set up for the race, further it’s about applying my road course experience as best as possible whilst making sure that even the smallest mistakes are kept to a minimum.”
The 24-year Dutchman, who has seven career starts between the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will become just the second EuroNASCAR champion to compete in the Cup Series, and he’ll be the first to do so with a European team.
Hezemans says he feels he can put down decent lap times based on his test session at the Charlotte Roval in the offseason, and just wants a good clean race.
“From the Next Gen test at the Charlotte Roval in 2021 I was able to put in competitive lap times, now the big focus will be on putting everything together & trying to maximize our result,” Hezemans explained.
Team Hezeberg made their NASCAR Cup Series debut as a race team in the season-opening Daytona 500 with former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve behind the wheel of their No. 27 entry. Villeneuve finished an impressive 22nd that day, and avoided several incidents on his path to a clean finish.
Hezemans will look to do the same this weekend at COTA in Austin, Texas.