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Israeli stock-car racer gets NASCAR shot, with support for hostages on hood

Alon Day “represents the heart and spirit of the Israeli people,” said Jet Support Services, the lead sponsor of the driver’s new ride.

Israel's Alon Day will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Chicago Street Race on July 6. Credit: Courtesy.
Israel's Alon Day will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Chicago Street Race on July 6. Credit: Courtesy.

When Israel’s premier stock car racer gets behind the wheel at a NASCAR competition in Chicago next month, his car’s hood will display an homage to the Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

A four-time EuroNASCAR champion, Alon Day plans to compete as part of the Alpha Prime Racing team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Chicago Street Race on July 6, a Saturday. 

Alon Day, NASCAR driver. Credit: Courtesy.

The Ashdod native will drive car number 45, a Chevy Camera sponsored in part by the Chicago-based Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI) and Setna iO, located in the Windy City suburbs.

The car’s paint scheme, which Day recently released, features a blue-and-white wrap, with the word chai, Hebrew for “life,” written in Hebrew on the hood.

Israeli NASCAR racer Alon Day’s “show car.” Credit: Courtesy.

A “show car,” which Day will use for marketing and display purposes at promotional press conferences this week in Chicago, features an alternate hood design, with an Israeli flag inlaid in a Star of David and the phrase “Bring them home” underneath.

NASCAR does not allow religious symbols on hoods, which is why Day’s car on race day will have the chai reference rather than the Star of David.

“Alon represents the heart and spirit of the Israeli people, commitment to excellence, tremendous work ethic and ability to persevere in the face of enormous adversity,” said Neil Book, chairman and CEO of JSSI.

Day, 32, has captured four championships in NASCAR’s Whelen Euro Series, in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022.

He is the first Israeli driver to compete in an IndyCar-sanctioned series and the first Israeli to compete in one of NASCAR’s top three touring series.

Day thanked his sponsors “for making it possible for me to compete in the Chicago Xfinity Street Race following my record breaking 4-time EuroNASCAR championships. I will be piloting the 45 at jet speed through the streets of Chicago on July 6.”

Day told JNS ahead of the prestigious Daytona 500 in February that “I’ve done enough in the European sector. I want to extend myself. I want to be in NASCAR.”

At the time, Day was meeting with car owners and potential sponsors, touting his bona fides as a road-course specialist. NASCAR was historically focused on oval course racing, but has been steadily adding more road courses to its schedules.

“Alon is a special talent, and I know his skillset is a perfect fit for the Chicago Street Race,” said Tommy Joe Martins, president of Alpha Prime Sports. “I’ve watched his accomplishments overseas, as well as his standout performances on smaller teams in the Xfinity series on road courses. Everyone at APR is so excited to have him.”

The Xfinity Series is NASCAR’s second-tier circuit, topped only by the Cup Series. 

Xfinity Series events are typically held the day before a Cup Series event. That will be the case in Chicago, with Day set to race in “The Loop 110,” a 50-lap race.

The Cup Series event will follow that Sunday. 

Organizers are planning festivities for the second annual racing weekend, including a Saturday night concert by The Black Keys and The Chainsmokers.

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