Former Formula 1 Driver Makes Cup Series Debut

Daniil Kvyat

Getty Daniil Kvyat (right) will make his Cup Series debut.

There will be a former Formula 1 driver on hand for the Cup Series trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Team Hezeberg will bring two entries to the road course while helping Daniil Kvyat make his NASCAR debut.

Team Hezeberg announced the news on July 26, a day after Kvyat tweeted a photo of himself getting fitted in a Cup Series car. The team confirmed that it will run two entries at IMS. Two-time EuroNASCAR champion Loris Hezemans will return to the No. 27 after making his debut at Circuit of the Americas. Kvyat will take over the No. 26 Toyota, a new entry for the team.

Kvyat spent six seasons as a competitor in Formula 1. The Russian driver made his debut in 2014, and he continued to compete through the end of the 2020 season, with the exception of the 2018 season.

Kvyat made 110 starts and posted three podium finishes. He finished second overall in the 2015 Pirelli Hungarian Grand Prix, third in the 2016 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix, and third in the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix of Germany. Now he will face off with the top drivers in NASCAR.

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Kvyat Will Have 2 Sessions Ahead of the Race

Daniil Kvyat

GettyDaniil Kvyat (right) will have time to practice at IMS.

Kvyat will have some time to prepare for the Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will take part in practice at 9:35 a.m. ET (USA Network), which will feature a 20-minute session as part of NASCAR’s new format.

He will then qualify for the race at 10:35 a.m. ET (USA Network). The drivers will split into two groups for 15-minute timed sessions. The five fastest from each group (10 total) will move on to the final round, which will be a 10-minute session.

Kvyat actually met with FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass at Road America on July 2, and he teased this appearance. He revealed that he had done a test in a EuroNASCAR stock car and that he wants to run a full Cup Series season. He also acknowledged that a road course start would be the most logical way for him to make his debut.

The Entry List Will Benefit Kvyat & Team Hezeberg

A common storyline throughout the 2022 Cup Series season is that the overwhelming majority of races have only featured 36 entries. The teams with charters have shown up, but open teams such as Team Hezeberg and TMT Racing have stayed at home. The Daytona 500 was the only exception.

This trend will continue at IMS. There will only be 38 entries for the 40-car field with both of the open entries coming from Team Hezeberg. Both Hezemans and Kvyat should automatically secure a spot in the starting lineup barring any unexpected mechanical issues.

Team Hezeberg has made three starts during its inaugural run in the Cup Series. Jacques Villeneuve made the team’s debut during the Daytona 500, and he finished 22nd overall after beating out other open entries to secure a spot in the Great American Race.

Hezemans has made two starts, but he has dealt with mechanical issues. He ended the Circuit of the Americas race 34th after a rear gear problem and the Road America race 37th after a fuel pump issue.

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