Mexico’s Suarez Clinches Historic NASCAR Title

Posted on December 13, 2016 by

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On 19 November, NASCAR’s Second Tier Xfinity Series held their final race of the 2016 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida. That day, Daniel Suarez would win his third race of the year to clinch the Xfinity Series championship.

While this is significant in itself, there is much more backstory that makes Suarez’s title even more special.

Daniel Suarez was born in 1992 in Monterrey, Mexico.  He grew up racing at local tracks. When he was 18, Suarez moved to North Carolina to pursue a career in NASCAR. After racing in regional series in the U.S. and Mexico, he was signed by Joe Gibbs Racing, one of NASCAR’s top teams, in 2015. He began racing in the Xfinity Series full time that year.

Suarez has won three career races in the Xfinity Series, all in 2016, and was named Series Rookie of the Year in 2015.  Suarez, with his championship, became the first foreign-born champion in any of NASCAR’s national touring series.

In addition to his driving skill, Suarez has been praised for his dedication to the sport as well as his maturity, humility, and kind nature. These qualities have gained him a lot of respect among his fellow drivers.

It is also hoped that his success will influence an open doors for other foreign drivers who are pursuing a NASCAR career.

While Suarez’s triumph is widely seen as an important milestone in NASCAR, the timing of his championship has led to some controversy, especially among the series front office.

CEO Brian France has openly supported President-elect Donald Trump, including endorsing him at a rally earlier this year. When asked about Suarez at a press conference the day after the Xfinity series race, France was defensive and reluctant to answer.

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