Scott Speed is adding up to 10 further NASCAR Sprint Cup events to his schedule after his recent top-10 finish at Talladega secured extra backing for his Leavine Family Racing Ford Fusion.
The ex-Toro Rosso Formula 1 racer now plans to combine top-level stock car racing with a Global Rallycross Championship campaign for the rest of the season. His ninth-placed Cup finish at Talladega and victory in the opening GRC event at X Games Brazil last month have boosted his chances of extra outings, including this week's Charlotte NASCAR round.
"We've found the support to run more [NASCAR Cup] races this year, so we're going to run eight to 10 more," Speed said. "It's working out great to have a part-time schedule in Cup and now we can do this [rallycross] schedule, so we can balance the two."
Speed drove in X Games Brazil in the series-run Ford Fiesta ST "star car" but shocked the establishment by winning the event outright, despite it being his first-ever experience of driving on a loose surface. He hopes to combine the two series for the rest of the season.
"At this point the Cup deal takes precedence, but hopefully we can build it so they're working cohesively with each other," said Speed. "It's a unique opportunity here, and we're working as hard as we can to make the most of it."
Speed reckoned his ninth place at Talladega was a "more unbelievable result" than his X Games gold medal, as it was achieved with the smallest team in the NASCAR field.
"Our team is still growing, but it's so small in comparison – we started from nothing basically," he added. "We're eight guys, total. Compare that to the team [Front Row Motorsports] that won Talladega, which is still a small team, but probably has three times the money and the people we do.
"We try to do things best we can, but there's underfunded and there's, well, us. Small teams are so hard to get going over there (NASCAR). The big teams seem to be getting bigger and the small teams are getting smaller.
"We're clawing our way, and doing a good job. It's all going in the right direction."