Alon Day is an Israeli NASCAR driver who’s making records, and he’s climbing the ranks thanks to video games.
The 25-year-old Jewish racer was the first Israeli in NASCAR history to compete in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. And he’s not afraid of his upbringing and beliefs — his car has Israeli flag stickers, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sticker, and his racing suit has Stars of David on it
He was brought up in the world of racing first on go-carts in Israel, then with video games. A huge portion of his training was on computer screens. He played video games like Grand Prix Legends and caught the racing bug then.
This is in a country with very little motor sports activity, mainly because of an ancient British Mandate law, which states any car used for any other purpose than commuting will be destroyed.
He spent a lot of time in Europe doing GT and Formula racing, but because he couldn’t get any sponsors, he had to quit racing in 2015. This led him to consider quitting for good.
“NASCAR changed my life,” Day said. “Somehow, I got the opportunity to test in European NASCAR and it went the best way (it could), and two and a half years later, I’m doing my first race ever in the Cup. So it’s something pretty remarkable for me, and every time I think about it, it’s just crazy.”
Certainly, Day is causing ripples in the NASCAR world.
Below you can watch Day talk about how he grew up without “any motorsports — nothing.”