History will be made this week at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the “Team Africa” makes their debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Star Nursery 100 on September 13th, 2018 (Pictured: Arnout Kok).
Arnout Kok will become the second South African driver to race in any NASCAR event in the United States, and he will be driving the No. 97 for Obaika Racing, NASCAR’s first and only African-owned race team. Obaika Racing is owned by Nigerian entrepreneur, Victor Obaika. The team will have the support of African companies Brand South Africa and VroomBrands as the co-primary sponsors. The car will carry both the South African and Nigerian flags to celebrate the debut of “Team Africa.” Nigeria and South Africa are two of the powerhouse countries of the African continent in population, economy, entrepreneurial opportunities, and more. “Team Africa” hopes to introduce the NASCAR world to some of what these African countries have to offer.
Brand South Africa was established in August of 2002 to help create a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa, and to promote the country’s booming tourism industry. VroomBrands is your one-stop travel experience gateway offering unique and customizable experience packages from the four corners of the earth.
British energy drink brand, Rich Energy, will also join the team as an associate sponsor.
Although new to the United States and NASCAR, Kok has extensive racing experience spanning the globe. Kok first began racing Regional 100cc karting in South Africa. In 1996, Kok completed his first Formula Ford test in British Formula Ford Zetec at Brands Hatch. Kok went on to compete in the Champion of Brands Hatch Formula Ford 1600 part-time in 1997 and full-time in 1998 with multiple top-ten finishes. Kok has also competed at the Goodwood Rival multiple times over the years in the Historic Formula Junior and Historic Formula 1 class. In 2004, Kok competed in Turkish Formula 3 for a full season, scoring a podium finish. In 2007, he raced Formula GTI (South Africa) for four races scoring one win, a second place, and two top-ten finishes. In 2015, Kok began racing the European CAMSO V8 Late Model Series, returning for full seasons in 2016 and 2017 with one win, multiple top-ten finishes, and multiple laps led. In 2017, Kok won the European Late Model Championship, and he won a round of the series earlier this season. Kok also competed in the 2017 UK Oval Legends Series in which he has four class wins.
Obaika Racing made their debut in NASCAR in 2015 competing full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The team recently announced plans to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series later this year and full-time in 2019.
For the first time ever, NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series West will race on dirt at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday, September 13th at 8:00 p.m. PT. The race will be telecast on NBCSN on Friday, September 21st 2:30 p.m. ET.