Mattias Ekstrom Red Bull Photofiles

There may be a different driver behind the wheel of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in Sonoma, California, on June 20.

It became clear during the last race in Charlotte that Mattias Ekström’s stock car stock is rising with the NASCAR team following a successful Sprint Cup test last week at Virginia International Raceway.

When the two-time DTM champion got into the car in Virginia, the team expected him to take a day to acclimatise to his new ride. Instead, he impressed Team Red Bull with his adaptability by getting up to speed in about an hour.

With Brian Vickers ruled out for the rest of the season, team general manager Jay Frye confirmed in Charlotte on Saturday that he was seriously considering putting the 31-year-old Swede in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota later this month when the series makes the stop at California’s Infineon Raceway road course.

Ekström has raced in the DTM Series for the past 10 seasons for Audi and took the title in 2004 and 2007. He has 14 wins in 95 starts in the hugely competitive German touring car series. He has also won the prestigious Race of Champions three times, twice by defeating seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher in the final.

While he may race in Sonoma, Ekström would not be available later this year when the Cup series races at Watkins Glen, New York. The Audi driver is second in the DTM standings after winning his first race at the last outing in Valencia, Spain.

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