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NASCAR Heist Race Car Thieves Caught On Camera

2/27/2015 1:50 PM PST

NASCAR Heist -- Race Car Thieves Caught On Camera

EXCLUSIVE

NASCAR driver Travis Kvapil's #44 ride was jacked from a hotel parking lot -- and TMZ Sports obtained surveillance video of the heist.

The car and the truck that hauls it were both stolen out of the Drury Inn parking lot outside Atlanta -- and in the video you can see a Jeep SUV pull into the lot. One person dressed in black gets out of the Jeep, walks across the lot toward the transport trailer ... and the Jeep pulls away.

Next thing you see is the white transport trailer ... hauled by a black pickup truck ... tearing across the lot. Law enforcement sources tell us the GTA went down around 5 AM Friday -- and took less than a minute. So far cops have no leads on the suspects, but they're hoping this video will shed some light.

Kvapil's team was forced to pull out of this weekend's Sprint Cup race in Atlanta. It's a small independent team, and they don't have a backup car.

Team owner John Cohen tells TMZ Sports ... "Last night I was thinking, I should tell them to block the truck off [with another vehicle]. But I didn't say anything, and it got stolen." He says he doesn't think the crooks even knew what they were stealing since there are no identifying marks on the trailer.

He adds ... "I'm hoping they return it once they see what's inside. What can they do with a racecar?"

A Sprint Cup series car is worth about $250,000.

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