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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Simona de Silvestro to become Venturi Formula E test driver

Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
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Simona de Silvestro will become a test driver for the Venturi Formula E team for 2018/2019 season.In addition

De Silvestro previously raced limited events in the series during the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons.

I’m delighted to make my return to Formula E as a test driver for Venturi Formula E Team and I’m grateful to Susie (Wolff, team principal) and Gildo (Pastor, team president) for the opportunity,” de Silvestro said on SpeedCafe.com.

“Since competing in Season 2, I’ve kept a close eye on the Formula E championship and followed its development with interest,” de Silvestro continued. “The arrival of the new Gen2 car represents a huge milestone for the series and I am very happy to be back in an active role at this exciting and important time.”

De Silvestro has raced in Australian Supercars since 2017. She will continue to race in that series with Kelly Racing as she balances her time with Venturi.

The bulk of de Silvestro’s testing will be done in its simulator in Monaco.

“The next 12 months will be really busy for me with both Formula E and my Australian Supercars commitments but I’m ready for the challenge and it’s a joy to be working with such a well connected and committed team as Venturi,” de Silvestro said.

“Simona is a real team player and a driver I was keen to work with,” said team principal Wolff. “She has a very positive attitude and no-nonsense approach to her work which will fit in well with the team.”