Baker Curb Racing announced on Tuesday that Chase Austin will drive the No. 43 Dodge this Saturday in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
Austin has run a NASCAR race this year, though, as he drove the No. 46 Walgreens truck for Danny Gill in the Camping World Truck Series at Michgan in June. In that race, Austin finished 35th.
“I look forward to it,” Austin said of the opportunity in the team preview. “I was able learn a great deal during the truck series practices but unfortunately we lost an engine very early in the race. I still feel like I need more seat time, so it will be nice to get back on the track Thursday to log some more laps and learn as much as possible before the race on Saturday.”
This will also be the second race for NASCAR’s new Nationwide car, which is suppose to be safer. The car debuted in historic fashion at Daytona International Speedway in July where Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race, driving a No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet painted like his father’s.
“The new cars in the Nationwide Series look really cool,” Austin said. “I expect them to handle different but most of that is due to the aero changes in the body. However, I’ve only had five races in the previous body style, so the learning curve should be pretty comfortable for me since I don’t have a large amount of races in the older style. I know the other drivers will really feel the difference when on the track. I’m just excited to have the opportunity to get back on the track period and getting the chance to race the new body is a plus.”
Austin will have sponsor backing from Detroit-based company Forgotten Harvest, in which he toured the plant back in June.
“It was mind blowing the commitment the folks at Forgotten Harvest have in giving those in poverty an opportunity to put a healthy meal on their table,” Austin said of the experience. “Visiting their headquarters was an awesome experience. I had a chance to see how much effort goes into it and I can tell you it was very impressive. You could see their passion and the fact that they’re able to rescue over 19 million pounds of food in a year is incredible.”
Austin will also have Walgreen’s Million Meal Challenge for the Kids, which is a challenge set out by Walgreens to have volunteers package over one million meals for children and families in poor communities.
“It’s an honor,” Austin said of the association with them. “Through companies like Walgreens and programs like the Million Meal Challenge for the Kids, Forgotten Harvest has been able to feed so many kids in the Detroit Metro area this summer. I encourage everyone to go visit their local Walgreens and donate today, so they can continue to make sure that every kid in need has a meal this summer.”
What – CARFAX 250; NASCAR Nationwide Series Race
When — Saturday, August 14, 2010; 2:00 p.m. EST
Where – Michigan International Speedway
Broadcast – Qualifying: Speed Channel (Saturday, August 14th, 10:10 a.m. EST)
Race – ESPN & MRN Radio Network; 125 laps, 250 miles