Japanese driver Akinori Ogata to compete in Atlanta Truck race
Japanese driver Akinori Ogata will compete in the Atlanta NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for the second consecutive season.
Ogata, a native of Kanagawa, Japan, will compete in MB Motorsports’ No. 63 Chevrolet in Saturday’s Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The race will mark the veteran’s seventh career Truck series start. His previous best finish was 18th at New Hampshire in 2015, also with owner Mike Mittler.
“I’m very thankful to be competing back in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Ogata, 44, who now resides in Mooresville, N.C. “I’m grateful to be back with Mike Mittler and MB Motorsports and look forward to a solid outing on Saturday afternoon.”
Veteran Rick Ren will serve as Ogata’s crew chief.
In last year’s race at Atlanta with Beaver Motorsports, Ogata started 32nd and finished 30th after exiting the event due to an oil leak.
“Even though I didn’t have the chance to run the entire race, the track time at Atlanta was priceless,” Ogata said. “It’s a very sensitive track because of its worn surface.
“I’m relying on my team and crew chief to help me get into a comfortable and competitive rhythm, so we can make some gains during the race and have a solid finish.”
Ogata started motocross racing in Japan in 1987, winning 30 feature races. He eventually switched to dirt track racing, racing quarter-midgets.
He also made 12 starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, with a best finish of 15th in 2012 at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga.
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