Rockenfeller made his first Cup race begin on Sunday at Watkins Glen, driving the #77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports.
Already in an unfamiliar setting, the German street racer acquired to expertise NASCAR’s model of racing within the moist earlier than the observe dried out, ran close to the entrance early within the occasion and even duelled with former System 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen on the observe.
Rockenfeller made contact with Tyler Reddick within the internal loop on lap 32 of 90 that knocked him off tempo and a late pitstop for gas dropped him to 30th in the final running order however nonetheless on the lead lap.
Regardless of the challenges – which included beginning the race on moist climate tyres and having to alter to slicks below green-flag circumstances – Rockenfeller appeared to relish the expertise.
“In all my years of racing, my NASCAR Cup Sequence debut was up there in the case of being a wild expertise,” he mentioned. “Nevertheless, the entire challenges we confronted actually helped me rise up to hurry a lot faster than anticipated with the automobile and the workforce.
“When the race began after the delay, the observe was extremely slippery, and the racing in NASCAR is so intense and shut. I additionally had a collision with Tyler and was working with the leaders at one stage.
“It was a race of just about all the things!”
Mike Rockenfeller, Spire Motorsports, Nations Guard Chevrolet Camaro
Photograph by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images
Rockenfeller was particularly grateful to Spire for giving him the chance to compete and has yet one more deliberate race with the workforce this season on ninth October on the Charlotte Roval course.
“In case you’d have informed me forward of Watkins Glen that I might have run as excessive as fourth, then I’d haven’t believed you,” he mentioned. “You’ll by no means win a race in your first outing within the NASCAR Cup Sequence, however I actually suppose Spire Motorsports and myself exceeded the targets we set ourselves.
“I’m genuinely excited for subsequent outing, as a result of that was among the most enjoyable I’ve had in a race automobile for a very long time.”