February 15th was a special day for NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Lady Cup winner Arianna Casoli. The Italian successfully completed a full test day at New Smyrna Speedway at the wheel of a Pro Late Model under the supervision of former NCWTS Champion and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie Of The Year Mike Skinner as a prize for her success in Europe and she was all smiles when she climbed out of the car for the last time.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” said the Italian. “I couldn’t hope for this one year ago, when I tested a NWES car for the first time. This adventure started almost as an American Dream and it became something much bigger and exciting and I have to thank NASCAR, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, my family, Freem and all my partners, and my team CAAL Racing because without them this wouldn’t have been possible.”
“Arianna did a great job on track,” said NWES President CEO Jerome Galpin. “She is really smart, she gained confidence and progressed lap after lap under Mike’s coaching. I’m sure this experience will be a precious help for her 2017 NWES season. Now we will start the off-track experience and we will bring Arianna behind the scene of various NASCAR events this week, from the Pro Late Model race on Friday night to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Clash at Daytona International Speedway, walking in the garage area and meet with many peoples of the NASCAR Family. She will have a very comprehensive view of the US NASCAR Series.”
Casoli completed more than 100 laps on the fast half-mile oval located close the Daytona International Speedway, alternating on-track runs and coaching sessions under Mike Skinner’s guidance. The experience she gained racing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series came to good use in her first day on a Pro Late Model car as her pace improved lap after lap. At the same time, the Reggio Emilia native believes that everything she learned during the test will positively impact her racing in Europe in a constant evolution of her NASCAR career.
“I was a little bit tense at the beginning but it went better and better with each run and my NWES experience made it all easier. The car was perfect and I could focus only on driving. Mike has a very methodical approach that I really like and I learned so much from him,” said Casoli. “I am sure I’ll benefit from this wonderful experience, especially at Venray but also on the other tracks.”
Casoli met different NASCAR executives in Florida and the Italian was impressed by the welcome she received from the entire NASCAR family.
“Everybody in NASCAR makes you feel at home and it is something unique, there is a cooperation between organizers, teams and drivers you can’t find anywhere else. Having Jerome Galpin (NWES President/CEO) and Joe Balash (NASCAR International Liaison) by my side and meeting George Silbermann (NASCAR Vice President, Regional and Touring Series) and Bob Duvall (NASCAR Senior Director, Business Development) was incredible,” concluded the Italian.
Arianna Casoli will be back on track on March 3 at the Autodromo di Franciacorta for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Prologue, while the NWES season will officially start at Valencia, Spain on April 8-9 with the Valencia NASCAR Fest.