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NASCAR: Former Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat to race at Indianapolis

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Former Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat will race in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the Indianapolis road course.

Kvyat will race for Team Hezeberg in his Cup Series debut. The back marker team has run part-time at NASCAR’s top level in 2022 and is adding a second car for Kvyat at Indianapolis. Loris Hezemans will pilot the team’s other entry on Sunday.

With 38 cars entered for 40 available starting spots, Kvyat is guaranteed a starting position in the field. But don’t expect him to be anywhere near the front of the grid in either qualifying or the race. It’ll take him some time to get used to a Cup Series car and he’s driving for a team that hasn’t been competitive and has had reliability issues in its three starts this season.

The team finished three laps down in 22nd at the Daytona 500 with Jacques Villeneuve behind the wheel and was one of over 20 cars involved in a crash at some point during that race. It’s failed to finish its other two starts thanks to mechanical issues, and Hezemans completed just nine of 62 laps at Road America because of a fuel pump problem.

Kvyat raced full-time in F1 from 2014-20. The 28-year-old competed in 110 races across six seasons for what’s now Alpha Tauri Racing and Red Bull Racing. He made his debut for what was then Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2014 and was promoted to Red Bull’s main team ahead of the 2015 season. He scored two podiums for Red Bull before he was replaced four races into the 2016 season and dropped to Toro Rosso, where he spent the remainder of his F1 career.

That swap worked out pretty well for Red Bull. Max Verstappen was promoted to the team in Kvyat’s place and won in his first race for the main team. The 2021 Formula 1 champion has gone on to win 26 more times for Red Bull since he replaced Kvyat at 18 years old and has seven wins in 12 races in 2022.

Russian driver Danil Kvyat of Italian team Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda walk in paddock during the 90th edition of the Monaco GP, 6th stage of the Formula 1 world championship, in Monaco-Ville, Monaco (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Daniil Kvyat will make his first NASCAR start on Sunday at the Indianapolis road course. (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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