Gil Linster Brings International Flair to ARCA Menards Series at Daytona International Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla: Gil Linster was determined. And the determination paid off.

After participating in the open ARCA Menards Series preseason test at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway last month with Kimmel Racing, Linster was focused on acquiring the necessary funding after receiving his superspeedway ARCA license to participate in Saturday afternoon’s season-opening Hard Rock Bet 200.

While making nearly the 20-hour trip home back to Luxembourg, Linster spent most of the plane ride strategizing his plan to attract the marketing dollars to make the most significant start of his racing career.

Less than two weeks later, Linster reached an agreement with a local marketing partner poised to expand to the United States. Linster, 30, is ready for Saturday’s 80-lap showdown.

“For me, Daytona was like what you see in the movies; it’s a big dream,” said Linster. “You hear about NASCAR. You want to be at Daytona. You want to race at Daytona – especially the Daytona 500. The first time I was here, I got the chance to visit Daytona. I was super lucky to have the opportunity to race at New Smyrna, which was the same week as the Daytona 500. I was smiling and feeling OK, and then some of the Cup guys came down there to watch the races, and I felt super close.

“Then, when I showed up (to watch the 500), it was like, ‘No way. It’s a huge track. It’s crazy.’ And then also the show. It was my first time to see the flyover, and I was like, ‘No way. No way.’ The whole atmosphere was just ‘wow.’ Even a week later, I was still asking myself if it was real.

“Now, I’m returning to race at Daytona, which is a dream come true. I can’t even begin to describe what it means. I’m thankful to, Kimmel Racing, and my supporters for the opportunity. It’s a dream come true, and I plan to soak it all in.”

Linster, who competes full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Elite 2 division for Hendrix Motorsports, is keeping his expectations realistic for this weekend’s race but is determined to earn the respect, confidence, and trust of his competitors.

“I know I am the new guy with the yellow rookie stripe, but I feel with my Kimmel Racing team and their successes for speed on the bigger superspeedway track, we can be competitive this weekend,” added Linster.

“I realize I am still learning, but I have surrounded myself with good people to help that learning curve. I want to come out, be competitive, and have a good finish so I can keep returning to Daytona for years to come.”

It’s not just about Daytona for Linster. While already set for a championship run in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Elite 2 division this season, Linster – who speaks five languages fluently is already working on expanding his presence in the ARCA Menards Series this season with other starts at tracks big and small.

“It’s not just about Daytona; it’s about the bigger picture,” which includes more ARCA races this season,” explained Linster.

“I also want to be racing full-time in the ARCA Menards Series in 2025. That would be a huge dream, which I am focusing on. I know we will have a good season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, but I want to make that next huge leap and race full-time in the United States next season.

“I know it’s not going to be easy, and I do not expect it to be, but with a lot of hard work, determination, and surrounding myself with positive people, I can achieve my goals.

As for his goal on Saturday afternoon, finishing the race is a top priority; a top-10 finish would feel like a win.

“From what I understand, this is one of the biggest ARCA fields at Daytona in a long time,” said Linster. “This is good for me as far as a learning experience, but I have to qualify for the race, and from there, we can set our strategy for the race.

“I just want to learn and work with my teammate Scott (Melton) and see if we can put ourselves in a good position near the end of the race to have a satisfying finish. A top-10 would feel like a win and give us some momentum to put more ARCA races together for the 2024 season.”

HOOSH and will serve as the primary marketing partner for Linster’s premier ARCA Menards Series debut.

As the fastest-growing vape company in Europe and the Emirates, HOOSH is poised to enter the American market with their 0% nicotine vapes and is a proud partner of Gil Linster as the first European driver to make his ARCA Menards Series debut at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on February 17, 2024, with Kimmel Racing.

HOOSH: Avant-garde vape products are made for “Strictly Made for Generation Cool.”

In final ARCA practice, Linster maneuvered the 24th fastest of the 49 entries that took time.

For more on Gil Linster, please like him on Facebook (Gil Linster Official), and follow him on Instagram (@gillinster) and X | Twitter (@gillinster).

The Hard Rock Bet 200 (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2024 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Group qualifying is set for Fri., Feb. 16, at 1:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 72nd consecutive ARCA season is set for the following afternoon on Feb. 17 to take the green flag shortly after 1:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (XM channel 391 | online channel 981) handling the radio waves. will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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