Kanagawa, Japan's Akinori Ogata will compete in three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this fall for MB Motorsports. ENEOS, a brand of JX Nippon Oil & Energy, will be the primary partner on Ogata's No. 63 Chevrolet Silverado in races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 26 and Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Oct. 24. Ogata is also slated to compete on Saturday, Oct. 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
ENEOS, Japan's largest oil company, first partnered with Ogata in 2012 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
Ogata, who has one prior Truck Series start (at Phoenix International Raceway in 2014), began his racing career in Japanese Motocross at age 14. After a decade of riding that included around 30 feature victories, he shifted to Dirt Midget Car racing, becoming a winning driver at Twin Ring Motegi.
Ogata's assimilation to American racing began in 2003, driving Late Model Stock Cars at North Carolina's Hickory Motor Speedway. He continued in Late Models after moving to the United States in 2010, and later graduated to the NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East, where he competed in 12 races over three years, scoring five top-20 finishes.
MB Motorsports, owned by Mike Mittler, has participated in every NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season since the series' inception in 1995 and has fielded entries for drivers Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray, among others. Ogata will be the second international driver for MB this year, following England's Daniel Brown, who drove the No. 63 earlier this month at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Akinori Ogata, Driver, No. 63 ENEOS Chevrolet Silverado
"I am grateful to ENEOS and Mike Mittler for allowing me this opportunity. I watched NASCAR when I was growing up near Tokyo, and having the chance to drive in a series like this is the reason my family and I came to America. This experience will be valuable to me and will make me a better NASCAR driver."
Mike Mittler, Owner, No. 63 ENEOS Chevrolet Silverado
"We have done many things in our years of racing and this is another exciting chapter as we welcome Akinori to our team, helping achieve his dream of being a NASCAR driver. His story is much like ours in that he is striving for the top against great odds and he has already come a long way in a short time. We look forward to helping him continue his journey."
Motoshi Sunami, President & CEO, JX Nippon Oil & Energy USA Inc.
"We are very excited to support Mr. Ogata in the races at New Hampshire and Talladega. His is a great story and this is the next step in his NASCAR career that began ten years ago, same as ENEOS's path to the market. New Hampshire and the greater New England market are important to us, as we also started our partnership with the Boston Red Sox this year. Talladega is close to our production plant in Alabama. We are looking forward to seeing how Mr. Ogata represents the ENEOS brand."
Rising Star PR
Rising Star PR