In early August, Gary Klutt will make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut at Watkins Glen International, where he will drive the #15 Chevrolet SS for Premium Motorsports. The news was released on Friday morning.
“Ever since 2015, when we won our first NASCAR Pinty’s Series race, I had the goal to one day compete in the Cup Series at Watkins Glen,” Klutt stated. “This is an incredible opportunity I have to thank Jay Robinson and everyone at Premium Motorsports for it.”
Klutt currently races in the Canadian-based Pinty’s Series, where he drives the #59 car for family-owned Legendary Motorcar Company. He debuted in the series (then sponsored by Canadian Tire and named the Canadian Tire Series) when he was 17 years old, finishing 11th in the 2010 race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport). After three part-time seasons, he ran the full 2015 and 2016 schedules, winning at Mosport in 2015 and recording a total of 15 top-10 finishes en route to points finishes of 6th and 8th. For 2017, he has scaled back to a limited schedule, running four of seven races so far, with a best finish of 3rd at Mosport.
In 2016, he was named to the NASCAR Next class. The Ontario native was the second Canadian to be featured in the program after Cameron Hayley. During the year, he joined Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series at Mosport, where he was a substitute driver for Cody Coughlin in the #51 Toyota Tundra. Coughlin, who currently races in the Truck Series with ThorSport Racing, was running a late model race in Indiana, prompting Busch to place Klutt in the truck. Klutt was involved in a five-truck crash late in the race, but managed to recover to finish 11th.
During the 2017 Cup season, the #15 has been piloted primarily by Reed Sorenson, though Michael Waltrip, Joey Gase and Ross Chastain have also split the ride. At the Cup Series’ first road race in Sonoma, road ringer Kevin O’Connell drove the #15 as he finished 33rd. Through the first 20 races of the season, the car currently sits 34th in the owners’ standings. A Watkins Glen driver for Premium’s second car, the #55, has not been named. Klutt will be the second Canadian to race in the Cup Series in 2017, let alone the first Canadian to drive the #15 car; two-time Pinty’s Series champion and fellow Ontarian D.J. Kennington ran the Daytona 500 for Gaunt Brothers Racing, followed by the July Daytona race in the #15.
Klutt’s #15 will be sponsored by Canadian paint distributor Color Compass. Canadian-operated Fusillo Construction and Pioneer Family Pools will also appear on the car as associate sponsors.
The I Love New York 355 at The Glen will take place on August 6.
Featured image courtesy of Matthew J.P. Murnaghan