It was delayed by one week, but open-wheel racer James Davison of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia will be making his debut in the NASCAR Cup Series this weekend.
Davison will pilot the No. 77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports in both Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway June 27 and 28.
Davison’s original deal was to compete June 21 at Talladega Superspeedway for the team but NASCAR ultimately denied his entry since he had never raced at the track and there were to be no practices or qualifying sessions prior to the race at the 2.66-mile racetrack.
“[Pocono] looks a lot of fun to drive,” Davison said. “In addition to that, it’s a doubleheader and I’m going to get even more mileage than I would at Talladega.”
In total, Davison will have the opportunity to drive 175-scheduled more miles than the 500-scheduled miles at Talladega.
Davison has four starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series from 2016 to 2018, netting two Top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place finish at Mid-Ohio in 2017.
Davison said fellow Cup Series competitor Josh Bilicki had reached out to him and the two drivers have been working together on iRacing in preparation for the races.
For Davison, 33, a successful weekend in the two races would be finishing both events and showing performance.
“Everyone knows the situation I’m in: I’m going to be driving a stock car for the first time on an oval,” Davison said. “A nice balanced result, of course, minimum, getting the car across the finish line; finishing is the main thing.”
Davison, who competed in last year’s Indianapolis 500, hopes the Pocono races can open the door for the opportunity to drive in more races in NASCAR.
“With all going to plan, the doors can open, or if doesn’t, they can close,” Davison said. “I’m going to take it one weekend at a time. For sure, I want to continue racing in NASCAR.
“I loved it when I drove in the Xfinity Series, it’s very much my kind of racing where there’s not too many sensitivities with it all like there are in other forms of racing.”
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.