ORLANDO, Fla. – Eddie Cheever’s racing days began as a young boy in Italy and led him to Victory Lane of the Indianapolis 500. Now his son, Eddie Cheever III, is ready to pursue his dreams.
The 20-year-old aspires to drive in the Daytona 500. And for the second-generation driver who was born and raised in Rome, Italy, the next step to fulfilling that dream is the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. The younger Cheever announced today that he will run for the Elite Division championship for Italian-based CAAL Racing in 2014.
“For European drivers, stock car racing is new and the Whelen Euro Series is the best way to start your career as a NASCAR driver,” said Cheever, who comes from an open-wheel background, but looks forward to trying stock car racing for the first time in his career. “The CAAL Racing team is new to the series, but they have a lot of experience with other cars in Europe. The shop is close to my house and I look forward to working hard and driving for the team.”
Cheever began racing Go-Karts at age 12. At age 15, he graduated to open-wheel competitions, racing in professional series in Italy and throughout Europe winning the 2012 Italian F3 European championship. Last December, he tested a Ferrari GT3 with the Italian team AF Corse. His goal, however, has always been to be a professional race car driver in the U.S.
And NASCAR has been his primary focus.
“I really like the NASCAR style of racing,” Cheever said. “There’s more action and more things a driver can do. The driver seems to have a bigger input in NASCAR than open-wheel racing. You feel like you’re more in control. I like both kinds of racing, but I think the right thing for me at this point is to focus on NASCAR.
Cheever’s teammate Simone Laureti will run in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ Open Division. The season will open on April 12-13 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.