Officials from Dylan Lupton Racing and BK Racing jointly announced today that NASCAR Next alumnus Dylan Lupton will attempt to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) debut at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway for next Sunday’s Toyota / Save Mart 350.
Lupton will drive the No. 93 Bell Brothers / Elk Grove Toyota Camry for the sixteenth race of the Sprint Cup season. Both are joining Lupton in their first foray in Sprint Cup as part of a three-car effort for BK Racing joining teammates Matt DiBenedetto (No. 83) and David Ragan (No. 23).
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“This is the greatest opportunity of my life and I’m very excited for it,” said Lupton. “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, but I’m incredibly grateful. I’m thrilled to represent Bell Brothers, Elk Grove Toyota and BK Racing for my NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut and I’m looking forward to having a good race.”
The Wilton, Calif. native will reunite with crew Mike Ford for the Jun. 26 event. A longtime industry veteran, Ford led the 22-year-old to several impressive NASCAR XFINITY Series outings last season in the No. 25 Athenian Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, including a ninth place finish on the road course at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In over 450 starts as crew chief in Sprint Cup, Ford won 21 races, most recently in 2011 with driver Denny Hamlin.
“There isn’t anyone that I want to call my first Sprint Cup race other than Mike,” Lupton added. “Mike has been instrumental in my career. We built a great relationship together last year in the XFINITY Series and he was a part of a couple races I ran this year. He knows what I’m looking for in a race car and together we feel like we can have an impressive showing next weekend at Sonoma.”
Knowing the challenges of making his Sprint Cup debut can be difficult being a non-chartered car, Lupton is hoping his prior road course experience at Sonoma will prove to be beneficial. In two NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (NKSW) races at the 1.99-mile 10-turn venue driving for Bob Bruncati, Lupton has a best finish of third, while also producing a respectable eighth place finish after a late race charge from the back of the field in his track debut in 2013.
“Sonoma is a hometown track for me, I’ll have a lot of support next weekend, but it’s a place where I grew up racing Go-Karts,” he added. “I’m hoping that between my previous track experience, the leadership of Mike (Ford) and the hard work of the BK Racing team we can qualify well and have a good, respectable showing in the race. Knowing I will start the race with the best stock car drivers in the world, completing all the laps and seeing the checkered flag will be a great day.”
After finishing second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship in 2014, Lupton advanced to the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015 in a partial schedule with Athenian Motorsports. Additionally, Lupton has been elected twice to the NASCAR Next program. An evolution of the Next9 initiative that began in 2011, the NASCAR Next program (2014-2015 and 2015-2016) is an all-embracing industry initiative to help spotlight the sport’s rising stars – and boost fan recognition around talent that will grow into NASCAR Sprint Cup Series mainstays.
In particular, Lupton has been an advocate for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) project where he has spent time informing students about the fundamentals of NASCAR and how each subject applies.
Lupton graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in Business Finance from UNC Charlotte.
Dylan Lupton PR