Red Bull driver Mattias Ekstrom will drive the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway this weekend, the team announced. The Swede raced for Red Bull on the Infineon Raceway road course in June, but the Richmond event will mark his race debut on oval tracks.
"Mattias did a great job in Sonoma, and continues to impress at the oval track testing sessions,” said Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team vice president and general manager. “He has earned this opportunity, showing continued improvement every time he is behind the wheel."
In his first NASCAR race, Ekstrom – a veteran of DTM touring car racing in Europe – led seven laps and finished 21st. Since then, he has tested with the team at Gresham Motorsports Park, Ga., and North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Ekstrom, a Red Bull-supported athlete for the past nine years, currently sits fifth in the DTM standings with one win, and has 14 career victories in that series. “To do a race on an oval is something different – it's a lot of laps and a lot of cars,” said Ekstrom. “Racing in Richmond will be one of the biggest tasks of my life so far, but I feel I am ready for the challenge.”