Ekstrom frustrated by late incident

Mattias Ekstrom had a promising Sprint Cup debut at Sears Point but he ended up disappointed as a late incident prevented him from getting a good finish

Ekstrom frustrated by late incident

The Swede ran a different strategy to most in the first part of the race and as the leaders pitted for the first time under green, he was able to place his #83 Red Bull Toyota in the lead on lap 36, having started way back in 38th place.

The 31-year-old eventually stayed up front for seven laps until early race leader Jimmie Johnson passed him on lap 42.

He would later get into an interesting battle with four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon, who clipped the right rear corner of his Toyota while trying to pass him for position, causing him to hit and spin Roush Fenway's David Ragan around.

Ekstrom kept the pressure on the Gordon afterwards and showed enough pace to stay among the the top five at one point. As strategies unfolded in the end and while he fought for a strong finish, the Red Bull driver got turned around by Penske's Brad Keselowski at the exit of turn seven with 18 laps remaining, bringing his promising run to an end.

He was able to rejoin and eventually recover many places in the closing laps, taking 21st at the checkered flag after dropping well bellow 30th following his incident with Keselowski.

"I'm happy with the way we were running but the result is not what I would like," Ekstrom told AUTOSPORT. "It's a bit frustrating that we didn't get anything better out of it. I think we deserved something better than this... I don't know. In Sweden I would say the 'i' was already there and I got the dot in the end."

The two-time DTM champion, said his first Sprint Cup experience matched his expectations but he could not hide his disappointment at finishing only 21st after leading the race and showing enough pace to contend for a much better finish.

"Everything matched my expectations," said the Swede. "Everybody was racing hard and most of them also fair. It's just disappointing when you cannot deliver a good result because the team and everybody took care of me at Red Bull like if I was a queen since I walked in here the first time.

"You spend so much time and energy and everybody here was racing for winning - I mean, I was dreaming of winning but we came like leading some laps, running quick all day and then 21st place is not so nice."

Next month Ekstrom will be back in behind the wheel of his Audi A4 for round four of the DTM at the Norisring.

shares
comments
Magnussen enjoys Sprint Cup debut
Previous article

Magnussen enjoys Sprint Cup debut

Next article

Patrick 'nervous' about return

Patrick 'nervous' about return
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021