Daniil Kvyat, the former Formula 1 driver who has been popping into NASCAR garages over the last year, will get behind the wheel of a stock car for the first time this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kvyat will make his Cup Series debut Sunday on the Indianapolis road course with Team Hezeberg driving the No. 26 Toyota. He will be in a second car alongside the team’s primary entry, the No. 27, of Loris Hezemans.
“I’m very happy to be able to make my NASCAR Cup Series debut at Indianapolis,” Kvyat said. “I have always been passionate about racing in NASCAR, the top form of motorsport in the United States. NASCAR has always been intriguing to me, as it is a pure form of motorsport to me.”
Kvyat last ran an F1 race in 2020 with AlphaTauri and was a reserve driver at Alpine in 2021. Kvyat earned three podiums in 110 starts.
“I’m looking forward to being successful in this form of motorsport, and I hope to contend for wins and championships in the future,” Kvyat said. “I can’t thank NASCAR, Josh Reaume, Toine Hezemans, Ernst Berg, and everybody at Team Hezeberg enough for the opportunity. The guys at the shop have been working tirelessly to prepare [the] machine and myself for this experience. It will be my first time at Indianapolis, and I am looking forward to seeing it in person. From what I have seen on video, Indianapolis is a challenging circuit, but I’m looking forward to that challenge, along with competing in the NASCAR Cup Series.”
Team Hezeberg competes on a limited basis in the Cup Series and primarily focusing on road courses. Hezemans ran at Circuit of the Americas and Road America earlier this season, while Jacques Villeneuve qualified the team for the Daytona 500.
Indianapolis will be the team’s fourth race weekend, and the first time it has fielded two cars.
“Daniil is a very talented driver with an amazing amount of open wheel experience,” said team co-owner Josh Reaume. “In my opinion, NASCAR is a great spot for Daniil to end up at, especially with the Next Gen capabilities throughout many styles of racing. I’m looking forward to being a part of Daniil’s transition to NASCAR and helping him however I possibly can.”
Kvyat had two stints in F1, bouncing in and out of rides with Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri and Red Bull between 2014 and 2020. He was slated to contest this year’s FIA WEC with G-Drive Racing in LMP2, but was forced to withdraw when the FIA banned Russian drivers in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. NASCAR representatives told RACER that the series has “no restrictions” on Russian drivers.