NASCAR is as much a part of the USA as burgers, cowboys and country music. In 2023, the US motorsport association celebrates its 75th birthday. It all began on December 14, 1947, when a groundbreaking meeting of US racing personalities took place on the roof of the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach. This meeting led to the founding of the “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing” – NASCAR for short – on February 21, 1948. Today, NASCAR is the number one motorsport in the USA in three national series that are watched by millions of people every week. There are also international series such as the European NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Messe Essen is taking the 75th anniversary of NASCAR as an opportunity to present a major special at the Essen Motor Show 2023 from December 2 to 10 (Preview Day December 1). In Hall 3, against the backdrop of the Daytona International Speedway, fans can look forward to a colorful selection of extraordinary vehicles from this exceptional motorsport event. These include models from real American racing legends. “Happy birthday, NASCAR! I am delighted that we are celebrating the anniversary at the Essen Motor Show exclusively in Germany,” explains Ralf Sawatzki, Project Manager of the Essen Motor Show.
Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo by Jeff Gordon
One of the highlights of the special is the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo of Jeff Gordon, who is considered one of the most successful NASCAR drivers in the USA. Gordon drove the car in five races of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in the 1996 season and in another four races in his 1997 championship season. The Hendrick team’s car was nicknamed the “Rainbow Warrior” by fans due to its eye-catching livery.
Another eye-catcher in Hall 3 is the Olympia Beer Dodge Charger, in which French automotive journalist Christophe Schwarz drove the 2006 Le Mans Classic. The story behind it begins in 1976, when NASCAR legend Herschel McGriff and his son Doug took part in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in France in a 1972 Dodge Charger sponsored by Olympia Beer. In 2003, Schwarz discovered a photo of this vehicle, but it is still missing today. Instead, a 1974 Charger was found in Oregon that actually had the same specifications as the Olympia Charger. Schwarz celebrated this find by doing laps in the Tribute Charger at Le Mans 30 years after the McGriffs.
2010 Ford Fusion by Matt Kenseth
In addition to well-known vehicles from Chevrolet and Dodge, fans in Essen can also expect to see several Ford models. These include Matt Kenseth’s 2010 Ford Fusion. This NASCAR racing car is an original Roush Fenway Racing Ford from the 2010 season. The white car in the original Valvoline livery comes with a 351 ci V8 and four-speed gearbox and bears the starting number 17. In the 2010 Sprint Cup season, this chassis with Matt Kenseth at the wheel had three races in Atlanta (2nd), Talladega (28th) and Phoenix (7th).
A Chevrolet Camaro from Marko Stipp Motorsport, the first German team in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES), will also be at the start of the special. Ex-racing driver Marko Stipp, who has already driven a EuroNASCAR car himself, enters two Chevrolet Camaros: #46 and #48. In the 2023 season, the car was driven by Miguel Gomes, Yevgen Sokolovskiy, Tuomas Pöntinen and Jack Davidson. The latter won the Rookie Trophy in the EuroNASCAR 2 Championship. The Scot thus secured Marko Stipp Motorsport its first title in one of the two main divisions of the NWES.
Tickets are available in the online store
The special celebrating 75 years of NASCAR comprises a total of 16 vehicles and is just one of many highlights at this year’s Essen Motor Show with around 500 exhibitors. Tickets for the festival for sporty vehicles are available at www.essen-motorshow.de, a day ticket costs 20 euros.
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