We first learned of Ashdod native Alon Day this summer, when USA Today published a story about a Floridian lawyer named David Levin who was trying to raise money to help the young Israeli driver gain sponsorship on the NASCAR circuit. Day, it turned out, was set to become the first Israeli to compete in a NASCAR event at just 24 years old. Now he’s been named Israeli Athlete of the Year. “It’s a big achievement for me,” said Day, who’s competed in a few NASCAR series events in 2016. “It shows that people are watching me, watching NASCAR, and becoming more and more interest in motorsports.”
Day, 25, got the full profile treatment in Sports Illustrated in October, in a decent article that addresses diversity in the sport. Day, who once dreamed of being on the Formula One racing circuit, said he wants to become “the standard bearer for American Jews and Israel” in a “quintessentially American sport.” Day came to the states in 2012 to race, but it didn’t work out well. He then moved to Europe to compete in a gig with Mercedes, but eventually went back to Tel Aviv and opened an arcade. (Day loves video games and it’s what how he “fell in love with racing.”)
Still, Day (and Levin) is stuggling to raise money, despite the lawyer’s effort in reaching out to a number of Jewish organizations. (Once Day’s car had an Israeli and American flag on the hood; other decals have been of logos of the Jewish Federation, Israeli Football League and the Anti-Defamation League.)
Despite Levin’s best attempts to raise funds around Day, little money has come in other than his own. The “little stickers” that have appeared on Day’s car—bearing logos from the Jewish Federation, Israeli Football League and the Anti-Defamation League—have been freebies (although the ADL has expressed some interest in contributing more seriously in 2017). At last check, the GoFundMe page Levin put together for Day had just $172 into its $75,000 goal.
Day is a part of NASCAR’s Next series, which is a racing program for young drivers looking to make it to the big leagues.
— Motorsport.com (@Motorsport) January 5, 2017
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