Saturday, March 2, 2024

Sean Hingorani to make NASCAR Truck debut at Milwaukee

ARCA prospect Sean Hingorani is set to make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series début on 27 August at the Milwaukee Mile. He will drive the #61 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for Hattori Racing Enterprises.

After racing legends cars, Hingorani began competing in the ARCA Menards Series West in 2022 on a part-time basis before elevating to a full schedule in both the West and East championships with Venturini Motorsports. After seven West races, he is the only driver with multiple wins as a three-time victor and sits second in the standings, seven points back of Landen Lewis. In the East series, he has top tens in all of his starts and is seventh in points with a best finish of third in his last three races.

His victory at Irwindale in April, made him the second driver of Indian blood to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race after Advait Deodhar won the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ EuroNASCAR 2 class at Brands Hatch in 2021. Unlike the Mumbai-born Deodhar, Hingorani is an Indian-American from California whose grandparents are from the country. Hingorani also joins Formula One alumnus Narain Karthikeyan as the only Indian drivers to race in the Truck Series.

“The #61 ran well at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and we are going to try and build on that success,” said Hingorani. “The HRE team puts a quality truck on track and are really looking to get both trucks in the mix at the front. I’m looking forward to getting a full practice session under my belt ahead of my début.”

Despite his success, the 16-year-old will also arrive with a bit of a reputation. In the national ARCA Menards Series race at Mid-Ohio in July, Hingorani intentionally tried to impede team-mate Dean Thompson on the final lap while the latter was running second, causing the two to spin out. The move was payback for an earlier incident when contact between the two as they fought for the lead led to Hingorani going around.

Hingorani was placed on probation for the rest of the season and suspended for the next race at Iowa, which was a joint event with the East Series and consequently eliminated him from title contention.

After HRE announced Hingorani’s ride, Thompson tweeted “Prayers up for” Tyler Ankrum, who pilots HRE’s #16 truck.

The HRE #61 was opened in 2022 for Chase Purdy, who left the team after one year in which he finished sixteenth in points. The truck has only seen two starts since with Cup Series driver Christopher Bell, who finished sixteenth at North Wilkesboro and fourth at Pocono.

“Sean has shown a lot of potential in his short career and we’re happy to have a driver of his calibre join HRE,” commented team owner Shigeaki Hattori. “He has won in many different types of race cars, which will prove to be beneficial. I think he has the ability to be successful with our team.”

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