Enrique Contreras III, nephew of Carlos Contreras, to make first NASCAR truck race start at Martinsville

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You’ve heard of like father, like son?

Well, in Saturday’s Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway, it’ll be like uncle, like nephew.

Enrique Contreras III, nephew of veteran Mexican racer Carlos Contreras, will make his NASCAR trucks debut – with the hope that it may lead to a NCWTS part- or full-time ride in 2015.

“I’m very humbled by the opportunity to make my NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut this weekend,” Contreras said in a media release. “Typically, the fall Martinsville race has been one of the most competitive short track races on the schedule, but we’re hoping to find ourselves in that mix with a lot of hard work and some luck.”

The younger Contreras, 22, will drive the No. 07 RaceTrac Chevrolet Silverado in a partnership between SS Green Light Racing and Rick Ware Racing.

Contreras recently completed his second full season in the Mexico-based NASCAR Toyota Series, finishing a career-best 18th in the final standings, with four top-10 finishes in 14 starts.

A native of Mexico City, the younger Contreras is carrying on a family tradition:

* Father Enrique II previously raced in the Indy Lights Series between 1992 and 1995, making nine total starts.

* Then there’s Uncle Carlos, who has made a career-high 12 starts thus far in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, and also finished 27th this season in the Toyota Series in his homeland.

Enrique III’s debut is just another illustration of NASCAR’s continuing efforts to increase diversity across all of its racing series.

And the younger Contreras is taking his first start ultra-seriously.

“Our goal is to finish the race on Saturday,” Contreras said. “You have to be prepared for anything. Sometimes, the races at Martinsville can by physical or calmer than normal. However, if we keep our initial goals in check, we should be able to give RaceTrac and everyone who supports us, something to be proud of when the checkered flag waves.”

Enrique has seven prior starts in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East spread across the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

“Some will argue that the K&N Series has some of the stoutest competition in racing throughout the year,” Contreras said. “And even though it may have been a little bit since I’ve run on the tour, I remember the races like yesterday.

“I’m used to competing on short tracks for most of my life, so I’m hoping what I’ve learned over the year will (hopefully) pay off in a truck. Most of all, I’m looking forward to learning a lot.”

Ware has a good feeling about putting the younger Contreras in his race truck.

“Enrique knows the challenges that competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series brings, but he’s a talented young-man with a lot of passion and motivation,” Ware said. “Collectively, we felt Martinsville was a good opportunity to turn some laps in a truck and learn from some of the best.

“If we can take the green flag and see the checkered flag in relatively good shape, we’ll consider the weekend a success.”

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Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.