(JNS.org) Alon Day, the first Israeli to compete for America’s NASCAR racing circuit, was recognized by Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sports as the Jewish state’s Athlete of the Year for 2016.
“It’s a big achievement for me and for the Israeli motorsport movement to win this prize for the first time ever,” Day said, Motorsport.com reported. “It shows that people are watching me, watching NASCAR, and becoming more and more interested in motorsports.”
Day, the only native Israeli who races in NASCAR, competed full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, and also made a pair of starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Trust Series last year.
“It’s a big honor to be the first Israeli in American NASCAR,” Day told JNS.org in an interview published last August, shortly after his first NASCAR race. “I raced in European NASCAR for two years, but being here for the main events, it’s big. I’m fortunate to be the one.”
The Ministry of Culture and Sports honored athletes in various categories from Olympic, Paralympic and non-Olympic sports in Israel. The awards are determined from a combination of online voting and a committee’s review of the athletes’ achievements.