Japanese NASCAR Euro driver Kenko Miura to make Xfinity debut at Chicago

Kenko Miura livery

Miura, whose only previous start in a U.S.-based NASCAR series was in the 2022 Truck race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, will drive Joey Gase Motorsports’ No. 53 Toyota in Saturday’s race.

It’s the second consecutive year the series has competed on the 2.2-mile, 12-turn course through the Grant Park area of downtown Chicago. Last year’s race was cut short by rain with Cole Custer taking the victory.

“My dream is to race in the U.S. in the Cup Series and on the way to fulfill this dream I’m joining the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Chicago,” said Miura, 44. “It’s going to be a difficult race and a very stimulating challenge.

“I will do my best to make the field and I hope I can finish somewhere around the top-15. Getting a top-10 finish would be fantastic.”

Kenko Miura livery

Photo by: Joey Gase Motorsports

The Tokyo native has made 66 starts in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series with two wins in the Challenger Trophy category for elite amateur drivers in the EuroNASCAR Pro division. He finished a career-best 11th in points in 2018 in the EuroNASCAR 2 division.

Miura, president of a marketing company, started racing at the age of 12 in go-karts and also competed in the former Asian Formula Three Championship.

Miura will be one of two NASCAR Euro veterans entered in Saturday’s race.

Four-time EuroNASCAR champion Alon Day – and the winningest driver in series history – will drive the No. 45 Chevrolet for Alpha Prime Racing.

“Our Joey Gase Motorsport’s team is extremely excited to have Kenko driving our car in the streets of Chicago,” team owner Joey Gase said.

“Although this will be Kenko’s first NASCAR Xfinity Series start he is a very mature and experienced road course driver and I know that will help our team be successful in Chicago.”

Mike Hillman Sr. will serve as crew chief for Miura, while Ryan Blanchard will be the main spotter.

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