Obaika Racing

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Obaika Racing
Obaika Racing.jpg
Owner(s)Victor Obaika
BaseMooresville, North Carolina
SeriesMonster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR Xfinity Series
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
Race driversMonster Energy Cup Series:
97. TBA
Xfinity Series:
97. TBA
K&N Pro Series West:
97. TBA
SponsorsMonster Energy Cup Series:
97. Vroom Brands, Space Grill, WAVE Sports
ManufacturerToyota
Opened2015
Career
Debut2015 Alert Today Florida 300 (Daytona)
Latest race2017 My Bariatric Solutions 300 (Texas)
Races competed78
Drivers' Championships0
Race victories0
Pole positions0

Obaika Racing is an African professional stock car racing team. The team is owned by African entrepreneur Victor Obaika.[1] It has competed in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.

The team was formed in early 2015 and competed full-time in the Xfinity Series in 2015 and 2016. The team purchased some assets of BK Racing, a Monster Energy Cup Series team, in August 2018.[2]

The team is based in Mooresville, North Carolina, thirty minutes away from Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is the first African-owned team in a major NASCAR series.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series[edit]

In July 2018, Obaika obtained some equipment from the bankrupt Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team BK Racing for nearly $300,000.[3] Around September 3, 2018, Obaika Racing owner Victor Obaika announced plans to race at some point in the remainder of the 2018 season.[4]

Car No. 97 history[edit]

On October 5, 2018, Obaika announced that they would attempt their first ever MENCS race at Talladega Superspeedway, fielding the No. 97 Vroombrands Toyota Camry for the 2018 1000Bulbs.com 500 with David Starr.[5][6][7] He ultimately failed to qualify for the race. Obiaka Racing later announced that they would attempt the last three races of the MENCS season.[8] The team made its official MENCS debut at the 2018 AAA Texas 500, with Starr finishing at 39th place. Tanner Berryhill drove the No. 97 car at the 2018 Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway and finished 31st. Berryhill drove the No. 97 again at Homestead-Miami Speedway and finished 38th.

Obaika Racing plans to run a full-time Cup car in 2019 with Berryhill.[9] On February 8, 2019, Obaika Racing withdrew from the 2019 Daytona 500 qualifying due to various circumstances.[10] The team has yet to appear for any Cup races so far in 2019, though they were briefly on the entry list for the spring race in Texas, before withdrawing once again.

Car No. 97 Results[edit]

Year Driver No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 MENCC Pts
2018 David Starr 97 Toyota DAY ATL LVS PHO CAL MAR TEX BRI RCH TAL DOV KAN CLT POC MCH SON CHI DAY KEN NHA POC GLN MCH BRI DAR IND LVS RCH CLT DOV TAL
DNQ
KAN MAR TEX
39
46th 8
Tanner Berryhill PHO
31
HOM
38

Xfinity Series[edit]

Car No. 77 history[edit]

On July 16, 2016, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Obaika Racing introduced a second Chevrolet, the No. 77, also sponsored by VroomBrands. At Iowa Speedway, Claire Decker attempted to make her Xfinity Series debut driving this second Obaika car while her sister Paige ran the No. 97, but Claire failed to qualify on time and did not have owner points to fall back on. The No. 77 ran for much of the season's remainder, piloted by various drivers.

The No. 77 team was announced to be a full-time team along with the No. 97 team, having Stephen Leicht as the driver. However, the No. 77 team withdrew before the Daytona race as Leicht moved over the No. 97 team. The team entered in the next three races, but withdraw before the qualifying in all but one (Las Vegas), where Josh Bilicki failed to qualify. The team returned to the entry list after a four-month hiatus at Mid-Ohio with Ohio native Gregory Vandersluis as a late entry. The team withdrew two days later. They were on the entry list for the Road America Xfinity Race, but withdrew again. The team was on the entry list for the Charlotte October race, once again withdrawing.

Car No. 97 history[edit]

Obaika Racing entered competition in 2015. The team signed driver Josh Reaume, who met team owner Victor Obaika while on humanitarian missions in Africa as a child.[11][12] The 97 team debuted at the Daytona International Speedway in the Xfinity Series season-opening Alert Today Florida 300, with Reaume finishing 23rd.[11][13] After three races, with one DNQ, Peyton Sellers replaced Reaume.[14][15] In April 2015, the team secured their first sponsor vacation provider VroomBrands, which is owned by Obaika.[14] VroomBrands wrapped the No. 97 in designs such as a Zebra representing their African safari package (debuted at Richmond International Raceway) and the Cheetah print representing their tours in Asia (debuted at Talladega Superspeedway).[14] At the Winn-Dixie 300 at Talladega, Sellers scored the team's first top-20 finish, finishing 18th despite being involved in a ten-car wreck that sent cars spinning down pit road. Johanna Long replaced Sellers for the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway.[16][17][18] After one more start for Sellers at Watkins Glen, the team introduced various drivers for the rest of the season.[17] Dylan Kwasniewski debuted with the team in the Nationwide Children's Hospital at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course,[17] finishing 34th due to mechanical problems after running in the top 10.[19] Kwasniewski would run the next two races for the team.[19] Parker Kligerman drove the car in the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway, Mason Mingus in the Furious 7 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, and Ryan Ellis in the Hisense 200 at the Dover International Speedway.[20]

Magic Creeper appeared as the primary sponsor for the DAV 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway, with Kwasniewski as the driver.[21] Obaika Racing completed the season in the top 30 in owner points.

On January 29, 2016, it was announced that Harrison Rhodes had been signed to drive the No. 97.[22][23][24] The team also planned to expand to two cars.[22]

In 2017, the team returned with Stephen Leicht driving in the early portion of the season but did not attempt a race after Bristol Motor Speedway in spring.

On September 21, 2018, it was announced that Obaika would attempt the Charlotte Roval race, with Tanner Berryhill driving the 97 car.[25] The team, however, failed to make the race.

Obaika plans to run a full-time Xfinity car in 2019.[9]

K&N Pro Series West[edit]

Obaika entered the 2018 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track with South African driver Arnout Kok, marking the first K&N Pro Series West foray for both driver and team.[26] However, the team withdrew from the race. Obaika paid another team to prepare a car for the race, but the car that was provided failed to pass inspection.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alert Today Florida 300 entry list". NASCAR. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  2. ^ Pockrass, Bob. "Mike Beam bids to purchase charter, some assets of BK Racing". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  3. ^ Long, Dustin. "Bid of $1.8 million submitted for BK Racing". NASCAR on NBC. NBC Sports. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  4. ^ Jayski. "Obaika Racing Plans to Run Some Cup Races This Season".
  5. ^ "Press Release (October 5, 2018). "OBAIKA RACING MAKING THEIR MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES DEBUT AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY"". Obaika Racing. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "Obaika Racing to attempt Talladega Cup race". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Wilson, Steven B. (October 11, 2018). "David Starr Will Drive for Obaika Racing at Talladega Superspeedway". Speedway Digest. Retrieved October 12, 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ "Obaika Racing to enter final three Cup races of the season". ESPN. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Beard, Brock. "INTERVIEWS: Victor Obaika and Tanner Berryhill return to NASCAR in a big way". LASTCAR.info. Blogger. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  10. ^ Obaika Racing (February 8, 2019). "Statement from Obaika Racing". Motor Racing Network. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Dheensaw, Cleve (February 23, 2015). "Victoria's Josh Reaume revs up NASCAR career". Times Colonist. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  12. ^ Descoteau, Don (February 19, 2015). "Racer Reaume ready to roll at Daytona". Goldstream News Gazette. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Alert Today Florida 300 race results". Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  14. ^ a b c Beck, Rhonda (June 1, 2015). "Sellers padding resume". South Boston News & Record. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  15. ^ Sordelett, Damien (April 10, 2015). "African owner sold on Sellers". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  16. ^ Caldwell, Clayton (July 30, 2015). "JOHANNA LONG SCORES IOWA XFINITY SERIES RIDE". Frontstretch.com. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  17. ^ a b c Knight, Chris (August 2015). "Dylan Kwasniewski Solid So Far In XFINITY Series Return". Catchfence.com. Lexington, Ohio. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Iowa XFINITY Series Entry List". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  19. ^ a b Knight, Chris (August 19, 2015). "Obaika Racing Adds Two Races For Dylan Kwasniewski". Catchfence.com. Bristol, Tennessee. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  20. ^ Press Release (October 6, 2015). "Ryan Ellis and Obaika RAcing Finish 26th After Mechanical Difficulties". Ryan Ellis Motorsports. Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  21. ^ Press Release (November 3, 2015). "Magic Creeper Partners With Obaika Racing and Dylan Kwasniewski". Catchfence.com. Mooresville, North Carolina. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  22. ^ a b "OBAIKA RACING WHEELS INTO 2016". Harrison Rhodes Racing. January 29, 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  23. ^ Papaserge, Ryan (February 9, 2016). "Xfinity Series sees changes heading into 2016". The Evening Tribune (Hornell). Hornell, New York. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  24. ^ Peeler, Tim (February 18, 2016). "NC State Student Returns to Track". North Carolina State University. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  25. ^ "Chris Knight ツ on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  26. ^ Wilson, Steven B. "Team Africa Bound For The Las Vegas K&N Pro Series West Race". Race Chaser Media. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  27. ^ "STATEMENT FROM OBAIKA RACING CONCERNING THE STAR NURSERY 100". Obaika Racing. 2018-09-13. Retrieved 2018-10-30.

External links[edit]