La Voz Latina - Su puente a la comunidad Hispana de Georgia y Carolina del sur

Mexican driver to compete in NASCAR's top racing series

  • Daniel Suarez. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

2016 was a banner year for 25-year-old Mexican auto racer, Daniel Suarez. In November he the won the Xfinity Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, becoming the first foreign-born champion of a NASCAR national racing series.
Last month, Suarez was promoted to NASCAR racing's top tier as he took control of the #19 Arris/Stanley Tools Toyota in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series following the retirement of veteran driver, Carl Edwards. Monster Energy became the title sponsor of NASCAR's top racing series this year after the Sprint Corporation relinquished control. As part of the agreement, Monster Energy becomes the Official Energy Drink of NASCAR.
According to press reports, Suarez is ready for the challenge. “It’s a dream come true for me,” Suarez said. “I started out in Mexico 10 years ago racing in NASCAR and I know this move won’t be easy but I ready for the opportunity.”
Suarez began his NASCAR career driving in the NASCAR Peak Series in Mexico, scoring 10 wins in 58 starts. He also competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West Series as a member of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.
Suarez, a native of Monterrey, Nuevo León, began racing karts in Mexico and moved to North Carolina as a teenager to pursue a career at NASCAR's national level. He had to teach himself English by watching cartoons on American television and moved through NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program to land a job with JGR.
"It was a very tough transition. My family was a huge part of it. My friends," Suarez said. "The very first time that I was going to move to the States, a lot of people told me it was going to be difficult because I was a Mexican driver, and nobody else made it happen in the past. I was by myself without a lot of support, honestly, without money, without a sponsor at the time, and then I had the opportunity with the Drive 4 Diversity."
On Sunday, February 26th, at the Daytona International Speedway, Suarez will make history as he joins the top tier of NASCAR Cup racing driving for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in the fabled Daytona 500. Fox Sports TV will broadcast the race, slated to begin at 2pm.

Issue Month: 
Wednesday, February 1, 2017