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bad luck again at Myrtle Beach Speedway / Nov 29,2013

#14 Sapporo Premium Beer(Mooresville, North Carolina) November 29, 2013 - Akinori Ogata and the #14 Sapporo Premium Beer Toyota Camry raced in the NASCAR WHELEN ALL AMERICAN SERIES, Late Model Stock class held in Myrtle Beach, SC with a new sponsor, Sapporo USA. He had Carl Long as a crew chef, who is a skilled driver.

"It was a pleasure working with Akinori. He is a hard worker and very devoted to becoming a successful NACAR driver. I always enjoy helping people who are passionate about racing and not afraid to get their hands dirty.
As for Myrtle Beach Speedway, it is an old abrasive surface that abuses tires and the driver has to finesse the throttle. Akinori comes from motorcycle background where he can control the machine. MBS and a heavy car control the driver! After practicing and discussing the car and driver movements during our Sapporo Beer appearances, we developed a plan for Saturday practice. It was rained out and we didn't get the car exactly where it needed to be for qualifying. The race started and we made more adjustments and Aknori was passing cars and looking good, then the engine failed!" Carl commented.

"It was easy to communicate with Carl at the race track and I was able to relax and focus on the race. During the practice, I was struggling to figure out a good car setup but Carl understood my situation and worked very hard with me. I was supposed to set up a car and drive at the final practice session before qualifying but I wasn't able to practice due to rain. The car was tight in qualifying but it was running better after the setup for heat race. While pushing past the car in front of me, my car lost power and stopped due to engine trouble. I wanted to end my last race of this season with better result. I'm disappointed but I believe the experience that I gained through the Myrtle Beach race week could lead to next season. As for my new partnership with Sapporo USA, I feel that having an opportunity to do promotional events together in Myrtle Beach was a great start for sponsorship. I truly appreciate my sponsors ENEOS Motor Oil, TOTO USA, Kajima USA, Kubota Tractor, Sapporo USA and all my fans for the support in 2013. Being a racer is not an easy path but it is very rewarding and I am moving forward with eagerness to achieve my goals. I will do my best to have a successful season in 2014." commented Ogata.

Our team, Akinori Performance and Driver Akinori Ogata have started to prepare for next season. During the short off-season, you can still check updated information on Ogata's Facebook,Twitter and Instagram. Please check them out!


focusing on the Myrtle Beach 400 / Nov 12,2013

#14 Sapporo Premium Beer (Mooresville, North Carolina) November 12, 2013 - Akinori Ogata and the #14 Sapporo Premium Beer Toyota Camry are registered for the 21st Myrtle Beach 400 that will be held on November 23rd (Sat) and 24th (Sun). The MB400 race will be Ogata's 3rd challenge for this year.

While Ogata was on warm up laps at the last MB400, the right front hub was broken right before the start and unfortunately, he had no choice but to retire during the race in MB400 2012.

Ogata finished the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, and he is now focusing on the MB400, which is his last race of this season.

"Since I moved to the US, I always wanted to race with Sapporo Premium Beer.
I feel honord to have a partnership with Sapporo and race with them. I want as many people as possible to know about the Sapporo brand and enjoy their beer at NASCAR races."
I am now focusing on the MB400 to give my best performance.

Ogata will be in the Myrtle Beach area from November 20th (Wed). He will be attending promotional events at restaurants and stores that carry Sapporo Beer displaying Sapporo Beer race car.

Practice will begin on the race track on November 21st (Thu).
Qualifying will be held on November 23rd (Sat) and MB400 is schedule to take the green flag on November 24th (Sun) at 2:00pm EST.


Ogata finishes 21st at Road Atlanta / Oct 23, 2013 

(Mooresville, North Carolina) October 23, 2013-Akinori Ogata and the #44 ENEOS Motor Oil Toyota Camry team ended the NASCAR K&N East Pro Series season at Road Atlanta with a 21st finish last Friday.

It was the NASCAR K&N East Pro Series first visit to the 2.4 mile Road Atlanta and also Ogata’s first experience at a road course.

“After arriving in the rain and passing the tech inspection on the car, more rain cancelled out all practice on Thursday. This created quite a challenge for Akinori as he would have to run the upcoming race on Friday with as little as 20 minutes of practice. Because qualifying was cancelled due to rain, the line up for the race would place Akinori in the 21st position to start the race. Akinori had to learn quickly how to manage all twelve turns at Road Atlanta in a short period of time. He was quick to adapt and was running pretty quick laps during the middle portion of the race. Something happened with the car late in the race causing Akinori to spin twice within three laps in turn one. This caused the team to call the car into the pits to check the car out for damage. Akinori returned to the track and finished the race. I was impressed with how quick Akinori adapted to road course racing!” commented Bob McVay who has been Ogata’s spotter since 2003.

“I had a great experience at my first road course. Unfortunately since practice was cancelled, I didn’t have enough time to figure out a good car set up and driving technique for road course racing. Thanks to everyone for all of your supports. I will continue to race and improve. ”commented Otata.

Finishing 21st at Road Atlanta put Ogata 26th in the NASCAR K&N East Pro Series 2013 driver standings with 128 points.

Ogata and the #44 ENEOS Motor Oil Toyota Camry ready for the NASCAR K&N East final/ Oct 15, 2013 

(MOORESVILE, NORTH CAROLINA) October 15, 2013 – Akinori Ogata and the #44 ENEOS Motor Oil Toyota Camry will race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East final which will be held at Road Atlanta this Friday at 3:30 PM EST.

“We are very excited to get to Road Atlanta! This will be Akinori's first road course race, there will be lots to learn, but for a driver this is the most fun to drive!” commented crew chief Steve Kuykendall.

The 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season comes to an end this weekend conjoined with the Petit Lemans sports car endurance race at Road Atlanta.
"This will be my first road course and I’m very excited about it. I truly appreciate my sponsor ENEOS Motor Oil and all the other sponsors and supporters. I would like to end my 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series season with a good run” commented Ogata.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East final race of the 2013 season will take the green flag this Friday, October 18th at 3:30pm EST. If you are in the area, please cheer on Akinori and the #44 ENEOS MOTOR OIL Toyota.

Ogata missed race at Monster Mile/ Sep 30, 2013 

2nd Iowa K&N Pro SeriesMooresville, NC (September 30, 2013) - Akinori Ogata and the #44 ENEOS Motor Oil Toyota Camry team ended their day early during the qualifying at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Drive Sober 150 at the Dover International Speedway last Friday.

“We are all disappointed at the outcome of our qualifying session at Dover, but everybody learned a great deal and we all left knowing that we did our best on this particular day. These are character building events, and Akinori showed everyone how an honorable man deals with set backs!” commented Ogata’s crew chief Steve Kuykendall.

“I needed more speed on qualifying. I'm really frustrated because I wanted to race in Dover like I raced in NH but we are already focused on the K&N final round at Road Atlanta. Thank you so much for all of your supports” commented Ogata.

Akinori Ogata’s next and the last season of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East 2013 race will be at the Road Atlanta on October 18th.

Ogata finishing 16th at Loudon/ Sep 22, 2013 

2nd Iowa K&N Pro Series(Loudon, New Hampshire September 22, 2013)-With Ogata’s sponsor ENEOS Motor Oil executives watching from the grandstand, Akinori Ogata and the #44 ENEOS Motor Oil Toyota Camry team finished in 16th place in the NASCAR K&N East Pro Series North American Power 100 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway last Saturday. Ogata started in 30th position and passed 14 cars in total.

After struggling at the last few races, Ogata and his team were relieved to be going home in one piece.
Ogata was lucky to avoid a big wreck that occurred right in front of him on lap 34 that eliminated 5 drivers. He narrowly avoided several other accidents throughout the race.

“I tried to pass a few more cars so I could get in the top 15, but I can’t complain about the result”said Ogata. “The communication between me and my chief is getting better and we were able to set up a great car for the race. I think my racing skills are greatly improving as I experience more and more races at the bigger tracks. I truly appreciate all the ENEOS executives that came to the race to cheer me on, the ENEOS staff that worked hard at the ENEOS Motor Oil booth, my crew chief Steve Kuykendall, NASCAR truck series racer Jennifer Jo Cobb who helped in the pit, all my crew members and my fans. I’m excited about the big Dover race coming up this Friday. ”

“New Hampshire was a very exciting race, Akinori drove a great race, and I think our communication has come a long way this season!” commented Ogata’s crew chief, Steve Kuykendall.

Ogata started in 30th position and moved up to finish16th in the lead lap. That puts Ogata in 27th in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver standings.

The North American Power 100 will air on Fox Sports 1 on Friday, Oct. 4.

Ogata’s next race will be the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway on Friday, Sept. 27.

Ogata and the #44 ENEOS Motor Oil Toyota Camry head north for the North American Power 100 / Sep 17 ,2013 

(MOORESVILE, NORTH CAROLINA) September 17, 2013 – Akinori Ogata and the #44 ENEOS Motor Oil Toyota Camry will head north for the North American Power 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East which will be held at the New Hampshire Speedway this Saturday at 2:30 PM EST.

“I am looking forward to having Akinori in the car for the New Hampshire Race! Our experience together should pay off with a good run. Handling and forward bite are the keys to getting around this one mile oval” commented crew chief Steve Kuykendall.

The remaining 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season races are down to three, and Ogata and his team aim to finish the rest of the season strong.

"I can’t believe this season is almost to an end already. It has been great working with my crew chief, Steve Kuykendall, and rest of my teammates. For my fans, my sponsor ENEOS Motor Oil, my teammates, and my family, I want to prove myself this weekend at the race” commented Ogata.

The North American Power 100 from New Hampshire Speedway will take the green flag this Saturday, September 21st at approximately 2:30pm EST.

The following Sunday Ogata will attend The Japan Fest 2013 in Atlanta with Sapporo Beer. The #14 Sapporo Premium Beer race car will be displayed on Saturday, September 21st and Sunday September 22nd. If you are in Atlanta area this weekend, please come to the Japan Fest and stop by Sapporo Beer booth and meet Ogata on Sunday.

                   
New Partnership for Akinori Ogata // August 28, 2013 

2nd Iowa K&N Pro Series(Mooresville, North Carolina)- August 25, 2013 – AKINORI PEFORMANCE LLC, has signed a contract with Sapporo USA, Inc.

Akinori Ogata will race at Rockingham Speedway on November 2nd for the NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES- EAST and on November 23rd and 24th for the NASCAR WHELEN AMERICAN SERIES at Myrtle Beach Speedway with Sapporo Premier Beer brand race car.
“I’m so honored to be able to race in NASCAR with Sapporo Beer. I hope the Sapporo sponsorship of our race car will increase their sales to our race fans and others in the States.” commented Ogata.

Sapporo is the original Japanese beer and its Sapporo Premium brand was brought to the U.S.A in 1964. In 1984, SAPPORO U.S.A., INC. was founded to maintain the high quality and distribution of the brand throughout the country. Thereafter, Sapporo quickly established its status as the #1 selling Asian beer in the United States.

#44 Akinori Ogata with Sapporo Premier Beer - Toyota Camry 2013 schedule
September 21st and 22nd - #14 Sapporo Beer racecar (Myrtle Beach Racecar) displayed at Japan Fest Atlanta, Ogata attends the Festival on the 22nd. November 2nd - #44 Akinori Ogata with Sapporo Premier Beer - Toyota Camry race for NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES-EAST at Rockingham Speedway. November 23rd and 24th - #14 Akinori Ogata with Sapporo Premier Beer race for NASCAR WHELEN ALL AMERICAN SERIES at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Sapporo Premier Beer race car will be displayed in the Southern local retailers. Schedule will be posted on Akinori Ogata’s website and Facebook.

AKINORI OGATA,Akinori Ogata Foundation TOYOTA IOWA SPEEDWAY RESULT // August 5 ,2013 

2nd Iowa K&N Pro Series(Mooresville, North Carolina)- August 5, 2013 – Last Friday Akinori Ogata ended his Pork Be Inspired 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West combined race at the Iowa Speedway on the 96laps due to the alternator trouble .

“We fought our way back to the lead lap early in the race, but an electrical problem cut our night short.” commented Ogata’s crew chief Steve Kuykendall.

“I was able to improve my lap time in the first practice session, but we couldn’t make the set up better for the 2nd session.” said Ogata. “Even though the qualifying time was 0.6 seconds better than practice, I couldn’t obtain a faster speed” After taking the green flag from 37th position out of 41cars, Ogata made his way to the 25th position and had a stable run at the beginning of the race.

“I got in the end of a pileup right before the half way break and spun when I hit the car in front of me.” Although there was no damage to the car, the #44 had to be towed since the car didn’t restart.

The #44 managed to restart after getting refueled and tires changed during the half way break. “I realized the RPM meter wasn’t working when we changed the setup during the multiple yellow cautions but I had to exit the pit anyway” Ogata said. The #44 lost engine power on 96laps with the alternator trouble and the crew couldn’t put the car back to the track. “I hate to have car trouble but that’s part of the racing, I just have to keep pushing forward. I really appreciate everyone’s support which allowed me to run this race.” Ogata commented.

The 32nd place for Ogata puts him at 28th in the 2013 NASCAR K&N East Pro Series unofficial driver standings.

The Pork Be Inspired 150 will be televised on August 25 at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports1.

AKINORI OGATA,Akinori Ogata Foundation TOYOTA IOWA SPEEDWAY PREVIEW // July 31,2013 

2nd Iowa K&N Pro Series(MOORESVILE, NORTH CAROLINA) July 30, 2013 – Akinori Ogata returns to the Iowa Speedway this Friday for The Pork Be Inspired 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West combination race. Ogata will be driving The No. 44 Akinori Ogata Foundation Toyota Camry this time and will take the green flag Friday, August 2rd at 8PM EST.

Ogata had a 32nd place finish last June at the Iowa Speedway, this time the team is shooting for a much better finish.

"I'm feeling really good about returning to Iowa Speedway with Akinori for a second time this season, we will be able use our experience here in the spring to run a much more competitive race this time around!"commented Ogata's crew chief Steve Kuykendall.

“I’m excited to be back at the Iowa Speedway with The No. 44 Akinori Ogata Foundation Toyota Camry this Friday. This race will be an important race for my second half of the season, so I hope to have a strong race. I really appreciate everyone’s support of the foundation and I thank my crew Chief, Steve Kuykendall and all my team for working on the race car”. explained Ogata.

The Pork Be Inspired 150 from Iowa Speedway will take the green flag this Friday, August 2rd, at approximately 8PM EST.

AKINORI OGATA,#44 ENEOS MOTOR OIL BOWMAN GRAY RACING RESULT // June 2,2013 

Bowman Gray Stadium(Winston-Salem, NC, June 1 2013)-The legendary Bowman Gray Stadium was packed with fans Saturday evening for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Hall of Fame 150.Akinori started out smoothly by avoiding multiple wrecks but ended his race at the 62nd lap when he made contact with another car and then hit the wall damaging the right front of his car.
“The car had been set up better and better during the practice. However we had to repair the body when I hit the wall a little during the 2nd session and I lost much of my practice time. After the race started, I tried not to damage the car since I knew this course was known for many crashes, so ending like that was really frustrating.
Thank you to my sponsors, ENEOS MOTOR OIL, TOTO USA, Kajima USA, Kubota tractor , my crew chief Steve Kuykendall ,all the crew members and all my friends who came to watch my race. I really appreciate your support.
I will just have to concentrate and prepare for my next race June 7, in Iowa.” commented Akinori.

AKINORI OGATA,#44 ENEOS MOTOR OIL BOWMAN GRAY RACING PREVIEW // May 29,2013 

Bowman Gray StadiumMay 29,2013 (Mooresville, N.C.) --- Akinori Ogata starts his 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East racing season in the seat of the #44 ENEOS MOTOR OIL Toyota Camry this Saturday night at the historical quarter-mile Bowman Gray Stadium. The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will mark Akinori’s first start for Akinori Performance with his new crew chief Steve Kuykendall.

Steve Kuykendall has an extensive racing background as a crew chief including the USAC Silver Crown Series, Indy 500, NASCAR Nationwide Series and many Truck Series. He was a former crew chief for Jennifer Jo Cobb and guided her to a 17th place points finish in the Truck Series, the highest for any woman in NASCAR history.

“I’m so fortunate to work with Steve, he is a very smart guy. He brings confidence and reliability to our team. I’m looking forward to a great racing season with him and ENEOS MOTOR OIL.” commented Akinori. “The Bowman Gray Stadium is such a small track but fun to drive. It’s nice to start the K&N Pro Series racing season here in North Carolina. I really appreciate ENEOS MOTOR OIL for getting behind me again this year.”

“We had a great test at Bowman Gray Stadium, and hope to turn that into a great finish for Akinori! This is such a historic place, all the greatest drivers in America have competed at this place!" explained crew chief Steve Kuykendall.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will take the green flag Saturday, June 1st at 8PM EST, gates opens at 6 PM EST. If you are in the area, please cheer on Akinori and the #44 ENEOS MOTOR OIL Toyota.

Akinori 3rd years attend to Cherry Blossom Festival in DC // April 10,2013 

National Cherry Blossom Festival In DCApril 10,2013 (Mooresville, N.C.) --- The “Sakura Matsuri- Japanese Street Festival” is held every April in Washington DC as part of a climactic event for the National Cherry blossom Festival. It is one of the biggest and most popular Japanese events on the East coast. There will be approximately 160,000 people a day walking on Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol and the Whitehouse enjoying the event and scenery.

This will be Akinori’s 3rd year attending this event and he is looking forward to meeting with many people again this year. The Japanese Street Festival will be held on Saturday, April 13th from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Akinori will be at a booth with his sponsor ENEOS MOTOR OIL on the south side of 12th Street on Pennsylvania Avenue. There will be various events at the booth throughout the day.

If you are in the Washington DC area, please stop by Akinori Ogata and ENEOS MOTOR OIL’s booth this Saturday!

Akinori Ogata result of the MB400 // March 22,2013 

returns to MB400March 22,2013 (Mooresville, N.C.) --- Akinori was the right front hub broken on warm laps right before the start and Akinori does lost right front brake and couldn't drive at all. The crew couldn't believe that Akinori went to 123lap with that condition. It was doing so good in practice. Thank you to ENEOS MOTOR OIL and All of your suppport for Myrtle Beach 400.

Akinori returns to the MB400 // March 19,2013 

returns to MB400March 19,2013 (Mooresville, N.C.) --- Akinori Ogata returns to the seat of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late model Stock class with the ENEOS MOTOR OIL # 81 TOYOTA CAMRY this Friday at the Myrtle Beach Speedway. This Myrtle Beach 400 will make up for the postponed race event from November 19, 2012 due to rain.

Akinori welcomed Charlie Sigmon as his crew chief to start off the 2013 season. Charlie worked with Akinori in the late 2011 season as Akinori’s crew chief and Akinori put his full trust in Charlie in the Late Model Stock class. Charlie is a long time crew chief and he has won several championships in the Late Model Stock class at Hickory Motor Speedway. Akinori and Charlie have been doing some test runs at Hickory Motor Speedway and they have a good feeling about the Myrtle Beach 400.

Akinori will practice for the Myrtle Beach 400 on Thursday the 21st. The grand stand will open at 8 am on Friday the 22nd at Myrtle Beach Speedway. If you are in the Myrtle Beach area, please come out to the track and support Akinori and ENEOS Motor Oil this Friday. The Myrtle Beach 400 will take the green flag at 3 :30 pm EST on Friday the 22nd.
TOTO USA will be back at the Tracks // February 8,2013 

TOTO USA is BackFebruary 8,2013 (Mooresville, N.C.) --- TOTO U.S.A.,Inc. supported Akinori in the NASCAR WHELEN All American Series Late Model Stock Class races in 2011 at Hickory, Myrtle Beach and Gresham speedway.This year they will support Akinori in the Regional Series races.TOTO is the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer. For over 90 years, they have been producing superbly designed, high performance lifestyle enhancing plumbing products for residential bathrooms and commercial restrooms.
Akinori will start his 2013 racing season in March. The schedule will be updated soon.



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