By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
JGL Racing announced Thursday that 19-year-old Tony Mrakovich of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania will run two NASCAR Xfinity Series races in the No. 28 Extreme Energy Solutions Ford Mustang, beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 April 14th.
“(Bristol) is one of the toughest tracks on the circuit,” said Mrakovich. “Some of the sport’s most prestigious names have gone to Victory Lane here, so if you can have a good day at Bristol, you’ve accomplished quite a feat. I’m so thankful for Extreme Energy’s support on this journey and for the opportunity to run my first Xfinity race with JGL Racing.”
Mrakovich is also scheduled to run in the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway April 20th.
Known for running go-karts and the Legend Series, Mrakovich has only run four professional stock car races in a span of two years, all in the ARCA Racing Series where he’s already scored two top-10 finishes.
At Nashville Fairgrounds, he finished a career-high eighth in his series debut for Ken Schrader Racing.
Mrakovich followed up his instant success with a ninth-place run at Salem Speedway.
In his last two ARCA starts, he’s driven for Andy Hillenburg, including the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, where his engine expired and finished 29th after completing 72 of 92 laps.
Mrakovich described his performance in the Lucas Oil 200 disappointing, but will utilize his learning experience from Daytona to the half-mile short track.
“Daytona was disappointing for sure,” said Mrakovich. “We had a fast car and a shot at a solid finish, but at the end of the day, it’s about gaining experience. While Bristol is about as different as you can get from Daytona, I can still apply the lessons I learned.”
JGL Racing owner James Whitener said Mrakovich has potential and looking forward for his NASCAR debut.
“Tony is a talented young driver with a lot of potential and we’re looking forward to giving him the opportunity to compete in his first Xfinity race,” said Whitener. “We think EES is going to be a great partner with our team and NASCAR is a perfect fit for raising brand awareness for the SMART Emissions Reducer.”
President and CEO of Extreme Energy Solutions Samuel K. Burlum said partnering with Mrakovich will benefit his company and recognizes the benefits of sponsoring a NASCAR vehicle.
“Extreme Energy Solutions is proud to partner with Tony Mrakovich in his leap and debut into NASCAR’s Xfinity Series,” said Burlum. “He has demonstrated that he has what it takes to compete on and off the track and he is a great steward of the sport. We are looking forward to a long-term relationship of having Mrakovich as one of our leading brand ambassadors for our company.
“As much as we look forward to working with Tony, we are also excited about the many opportunities which the world of auto racing can afford to our business, and understand the value of branding our automotive technology and green consumer products throughout the racing community and beyond.”
After five races, the No. 28 Ford has yet to finish inside the top-20 with Dylan Lupton, only scoring a season-high 21st at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Despite Lupton sitting 24th in the series standings, he will run Saturday’s My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.