By Seth Eggert @MotorsportRev
Should Akinori Ogata make the field for the Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, it would be just his seventh career start. Ogata will attempt to make the field in the MB Motorsports No. 63 Nisshinbo Chevrolet Silverado. MB Motorsports is the only team left that competed in the inaugural season of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series following the closure of Jim Rosenblum’s FDNY Racing.
In six previous starts, Ogata has a best finish of 18th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2015. The Kanagawa, Japan native was driving for MB Motorsports that day.
“I’m very thankful to be competing back in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Ogata who resides in Mooresville, N.C. “I’m grateful to be back with Mike Mittler and MB Motorsports and look forward to a solid outing on Saturday afternoon.”
Ogata made his first career 1.5-mile start at Atlanta Motor Speedway last year. It was also his only race of the season. An oil leak limited Ogata to just 51 laps and a 30th-place finish for Beaver Motorsports.
“Even though I didn’t have the chance to run the entire race, the track time at Atlanta was priceless,” he explained. “It’s a very sensitive track because of its worn surface. I’m relying on my team and crew chief to help me get into a comfortable and competitive rhythm, so we can make some gains during the race and have a solid finish.”
“I’m very grateful to have Nisshinbo and SEAVAC support me this weekend at Atlanta,” sounded Ogata. “We didn’t have the best result last year at Atlanta and I owe to both of them to see the checkered flag on Saturday afternoon to express my appreciation.”
Ogata first began competing in auto racing in the United States in 2003 at Hickory Motor Speedway. Since then, he has graduated up to make select starts in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as well as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. In 12 K&N Pro Series starts to date, Ogata’s best finish is 15th in his debut at Gresham Motorsports Park in 2012.
Now Ogata hopes to improve on last year’s result in Saturday afternoon’s Active Pest Control 200.
Photo: Akinori Ogata Performance