German Team Looking To Enter NASCAR Cup Series In 2023

Dennis Hirtz wants to enter the top class of NASCAR with his 3F Racing team and has already taken some initial steps to get started.

Hirtz, 39, has purchased his NASCAR license as an owner and secured the No. 30 entry. 3F Racing has been incorporated as a company and registered in the United States.

“Where will be a big surprise in American racing from spring 2023, because from then on German will be spoken there for the first time,” Hirtz told Motorsport.com. “The wording is very important to me, because we want to build a U.S. team with roots in Germany.”

The racing team will be led by a German and some of the employees will also be from Europe, including Germany. However, Hirtz knows Charlotte, N.C., like the back of his hand thanks to his family, which ran a medical technology company in North Carolina.

Unlike many other upstart teams, Hirtz wants to compete right away in the highest division, skipping the Xfinity Truck series. That leaves Hirtz with the mammoth task of immediately tackling a multi-million dollar program without being able to bring in much equity.

“3F Racing is dependent on sponsorship money, which is why we work hard to find good, reliable and loyal partners to whom we can add value, of course,” he said.

Teaming with Chevrolet

The former marketing director of Phoenix Racing in DTM and GT3 racing has a good relationship with General Motors, which is why he got the nod for support for the team from Chevrolet.

“We have a commitment from Richard Childress Racing, one of the most renowned teams in the NASCAR series, for an alliance. Importantly, it’s not just a technical alliance, but a close partnership that even gives us a production line for our car in the halls of RCR.”

The German is not yet able to answer the exciting question of which drivers Hirtz is planning for the debut season.

“We are planning five to ten entries and until 2025 we are pursuing the strategy of starting as a full-time team – then with just one driver. Before that, we will race part-time with several drivers,” he said.

“Thanks to the partnership with General Motors, we can draw on the Chevrolet driver pool. For the ovals, we want a driver who has learned the sport from scratch. For circuits, Europeans, maybe even a German driver, are also a consideration.”

Driver choices?

Christopher Tate and Ryan Vargas are two young up-and-coming drivers who have a close relationship with Hirtz and will be an option for 3F Racing in the future. However, Hirtz wants to rely on experienced drivers in the beginning to establish himself in the Cup Series. That won’t be easy, as Team Hezeberg’s history shows. The Dutch team comes from the European NASCAR series and fielded two Cup cars in 2022.

Two-time EuroNASCAR champion Loris Hezemans and former Formula 1 drivers Daniil Kvyat and Jacques Villeneuve raced for Toine Hezemans and Ernst Berg, but saw little success in the first part-time season, even though Hezemans and Berg have significantly more equity than Hirtz to put into the project.

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(Picture:  Motorsport.com)

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