RICHMOND, Va. – Ricky Ehrgott will attempt to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut this Friday night at Richmond Int’l Raceway, driving the No. 86 Rev1 Power Services/Platinum Wealth Partners Chevrolet Camaro for Deware Racing Group (DRG).
Last month, the former United States Auto Club (USAC) standout made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, but an early race accident hindered any hopes of showing his racing potential and a good finish.
Friday night’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at RIR, however, offers an opportunity for Ehrgott to rebound from Pocono and return to his short track roots, a style of racing he’s very accustomed to.
If you chat with the Huntersville, N.C., resident, he will tell you he’s just lucky to have the opportunity to make the foray into NASCAR. In 2009, Ehrgott tore an artery in his neck during a USAC qualifying session at Kokomo Speedway, which saw his dirt midget hit a rut and flip 30 feet into the air before crashing to the ground. The incident immediately halted his successful career in racing. Since then, it’s been a slow, but successful recovery for him.
Ehrgott, the winner of the 2012 edition of the Circle Track’s Fast Track Blue Collar Driver Challenge hosted by Rockingham Speedway president and former ARCA champion Andy Hillenburg, has competed in two ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races this year at Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, respectively, finishing third in the season-opener driving for Coulter Motorsports. He also finished ninth at Talladega.
The Fordham University at Lincoln Center graduate knows though that the NASCAR Nationwide Series is bred with some of the best upcoming racers in the world and he now has the potential to showcase his talent in front of a lot of people. However, the 25-year old is remaining focused on the duties at hand.
With a current field of 42 entries expected for Friday night’s 40-car field, the former Brandon, Florida native will have to out-qualify two cars to earn a berth into the 25th race of the season. Once qualified for the event, Ehrgott must finish the Virginia 529 College Savings 250. If he can complete both tasks, it will be a considered a successful debut for the former open-wheeler.
“I’m elated to get the opportunity to (hopefully) run in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night,” said Ehrgott. “Being from a USAC background, short track racing has been a major part of my past experience. I’m confident that my experience will help me.
“I have to manage my expectations for the race. I am naturally a fiercely competitive person, but I have to realize that this opportunity is all about gaining valuable and priceless experience. To do that, I must finish the race. I will have to be cautiously aggressive. I think with that approach and of course, a little luck it should yield a strong finish.”
Ehrgott is hopeful to run more NASCAR races this season, but is refraining from making any further commitments or announcements until after Richmond.
Rick Markle will serve as Ehrgott’s crew chief this weekend.