Champion among champions: Gianmarco Ercoli experiences many unforgettable moments in Nashville 

Credits: Chris Graythen / Getty Images for NASCAR

The 2023 EuroNASCAR PRO champion Gianmarco Ercoli received a once-in-a-lifetime chance when he was invited to NASCAR Champion’s Week in Nashville, USA. The Italian was one of the seven key NWES figures honored by NASCAR and took part in special activities together with all other NASCAR champions, including Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney. Taking advantage of this unique opportunity, Ercoli experienced many moments in “Music City” that he will cherish forever, being a champion among champions.

Ercoli took center stage in the special banquet for NASCAR Roots and International Series champions that was held on 28 November. Accompanied by Luca Canneori, the owner of his #54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet Camaro, the Italian was given the red carpet treatment and received the special ring only NASCAR champions can wear.

“We are coming back from an amazing week in the USA!” said Ercoli on his experience. “The red carpet on the 28th with the award ceremony and ring presentation was a celebration of a fantastic season that was full of emotions with many twists and turns. Being awarded on that stage after climbing the sport’s mountain is a great pride that will always push me to do better. Speaking to the many people in the hall really moved me.”

His activities continued on the following day with an invitation to NASCAR House and NASCAR Champions Parade. At the NASCAR House, located in the middle of the crowded Fifth + Broadway complex, Ercoli took part in a Q&A panel that saw plenty of NASCAR drivers alternate on stage. Later in the afternoon, Ercoli and all of the other champions took part in a spectacular parade through the city center where he signed autographs and gave away exclusive merchandise to the fans that lined up the streets of Nashville.

“The 29th started early with the ritual photos at the auditorium,” continued Ercoli, who won his first EuroNASCAR PRO title this year. “It is a splendid location in full American spirit. We did interviews and it was very nice to be able to tell people about my path to victory before continuing with the parade in the city together with drivers and champions of all the other NASCAR series.”

“I really breathed the passion Americans have for this discipline. The fans were sensational and it was nice to be able to repay them by giving them autographed caps and t-shirts. We concluded the activities on the 29th with an exclusive dinner between the champions of the International Series and several NASCAR executives and we then shared a beer in the clubs of Broadway. They played country music at every hour and the streets were all lit up with lights from the various clubs. Everyone had so much fun!”

The final activity that Ercoli took part in was the NASCAR Awards, held on the final day of NASCAR Champion’s Week. The Italian was introduced to the sport’s most important figures at the banquet, stood on stage in front of all the sport’s personalities and received the opportunity to listen to the speeches made by drivers such as Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney and NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Chase Elliott.

“On the 30th we attended a huge banquet to celebrate the Cup Series champion and the other National Series champions. We received a round of applause on stage before the speech of the champion Ryan Blaney. It was just incredible, something I will never forget for the rest of my life. It is amazing how the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series has become a great part of NASCAR over the years. Not everyone can be at such an important ceremony, and it’s even more rewarding if we think about where we started.”

“To be there and listen to the speeches of Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Bubba Wallace, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney is something that practically never happens to mere mortals. I go home with an experience that I never thought of having before. I’m happy to have shared these days with the Galpin family, with the Canneori family and all my NWES peers. Having the chance to meet the top people of NASCAR is a very important enrichment on a personal level for the continuation of my career.”

With the conclusion of NASCAR Champion’s Week, the off-season period will truly begin before the 2024 season starts on 13-14 April with the NASCAR GP Spain at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. EuroNASCAR promises an exciting season that features 28 races across seven rounds, including the return of NASCAR oval racing to Europe.


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