MIAMI, Fla. – This weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, University of Miami medical student Patrick Staropoli will trade his scrubs for a race uniform; suiting up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut on Fri. night, Nov. 18 in the Ford EcoBoost 200.
Staropoli, an aspiring doctor and racer from Plantation will drive the No. 07 AutoNation Cure Bowl Chevrolet Silverado for SS Green Light Racing in this weekend’s season-finale. The effort will be assisted by Young’s Motorsports.
After pairing with the former Harvard University graduate last year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for two races, AutoNation has teamed up again with Staropoli to raise awareness for the AutoNation Cure Bowl being held at Camping World stadium on Dec. 17, 2016 to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Currently, this is the only college bowl game to donate its proceeds to charity.
Staropoli was selected because his medical background is well aligned with AutoNation’s charitable focus which is to help drive out cancer.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to represent AutoNation and make my NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut this weekend at Homestead,” said Staropoli. “The AutoNation Cure Bowl is such an amazing sporting event that not only provides a great platform for great football, but also make a difference in the everyday fight for finding a cure for Breast Cancer.”
Mike Jackson, Chairman, CEO and president of AutoNation offered, “Patrick is an extraordinary young man and the perfect ambassador for AutoNation’s Drive Pink Initiative. With his medical training, he knows firsthand that the key to driving out cancer is in funding research. It will be hard to miss Patrick’s pink No. 07 Chevrolet Silverado on the track at Homestead and also on display at the AutoNation Cure Bowl on December 17 in Orlando where we’ll be committing $1 million to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”
A local racer from Florida, Staropoli burst onto the racing scene after winning the PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge in 2013, earning him a one-race opportunity in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West to further showcase his ability the following season.
Not only did Staropoli showcase his talent, but he won in his series debut with an impressive performance at Irwindale (Caif.) Speedway. The triumph earned him three more races in the series that year where he delivered three additional top-five runs.
In addition to juggling school, Staropoli maintained a partial racing schedule which included competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and a series debut in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at the 2.5-mile superspeedway of Daytona International Speedway in Feb. 2015.
Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200 will without a doubt be the biggest race of Staropoli’s career, but the 27-year-old is aware he faces a steep learning curve. Using resources available to him, Staropoli has been putting in as much time on iRacing and watching YouTube footage from onboard cameras from prior races showing the perspective of some of NASCAR’s elite drivers.
“I’m going to be surrounded by a lot of great people who want to see me succeed in my Homestead debut,” added Staropoli. “The goal is to run all of the laps, keep the truck clean and raise as much awareness as possible for the AutoNation Cure Bowl and the fundraising we’re doing for Breast Cancer research.
“Growing up in South Florida, I’ve always dreamed of making it to the big track at Homestead, so I really just want to enjoy this opportunity and make the best of it.”
As a fourth-year medical student, Staropoli’s hectic schedule hasn’t allowed an opportunity to race this year until last month when he drove his own car in a pair of regional super late-model events. He finished fifth at Auburndale and second at St. Petersburg. Despite minimal track time this year, Staropoli believes he can have a respectable performance at Homestead this weekend.
“I’ve never driven a truck before, so I know I’m in for a learning curve. But, I know that Bobby (Dotter, SS Green Light Racing owner) and Tyler (Young, Young’s Motorsports team principal) will be there every step of the way to help me with any questions I have. Together, we all want to have a good showing on Friday night for AutoNation.”
The No. 07 AutoNation Cure Bowl Chevrolet Silverado will be wrapped in pink as part of AutoNation’s Drive Pink initiative.
The Ford EcoBoost 200 (134 Laps / 201 Miles) is the 23rd of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on the 2016 schedule. Practice begins Fri., Nov. 18 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., while a final session has been etched in from 10:30 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. Qualifying will take place later in the day at 3:45 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly thereafter at 8:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).