Tha Sports Junkies 101

Daniel Suarez Post Win Phone Conference

Leon Hammack via Flickr


Daniel Suarez

On Saturday, June 11, 2016 history was made in the world of NASCAR.   Daniel Suarez became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR national race, passing Kyle Busch and holding off one of the sport’s big stars at the Xfinity Series race at Michigan.

Suarez was born January 7, 1992 in Monterrey, Mexico.  A native of Monterrey in Nuevo León, Suárez began his racing career in karting in 2002.

In 2007 he won the class championship. In 2008 he moved to the preliminary category of NASCAR Mexico, Mini-Stocks, where he became the youngest driver to win a race in the series.

He moved to the NASCAR Mexico Series in 2010, driving for Telcel Racing; despite running only a partial season, he won the series’ Rookie of the Year title.  In 2011, Suárez participated in the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway, finishing in 11th, the highest-finishing Mexican driver in the event.

In the 2011 NASCAR Mexico Series, he finished the season with three poles and a podium, finishing ninth in the standings. At the same time, he participated in 7 races of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

In 2012 he would bounce between the Mexico series and K&N Pro Series east.  He would finish 3rd in the Mexico series and 16th in the K&N Pro series.

In 2013 he would go full time to the K&N Pro series and would finish 3rd in the championship standings while also being named to NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program.

In 2015 he would be named NASCAR XFinity series rookie of the year edging out Darrell Wallace Jr.

For the 2016 season he would switch to the #19 car and win his first race at Michigan International Speedway to become the first Mexican born racer to win in any of NASCAR’s Top 3 series.

Daniel Suarez


Daniel Suarez phone interview:

Q– How are you feeling after your win on Saturday?

Suarez– Really good for sure, I’m still taking it all in right now. It was an Unbelievable weekend.  We had some issues at the beginning of the race with a penalty and some clutch issues, but at the end with the long run we were able to make it happen.

Q– What did you do to celebrate after the win?

Suarez– Well Saturday night the team and I went to a Mexican resteraunt for dinner and I spent Sunday watching a race. Like I said it was an amazing weekend but I am still processing it.

Q- With this win do you think your mindset has changed at all?

Suarez- I had a monkey on my back for a long time but after the win I know that we know how to win a race now.  So I guess I am more relaxed.

Q– How much do you think this will influence youth in Mexico that are chasing the dream of becoming a NASCAR driver?

Suarez– I think it will help for sure getting to see someone who came from there will really help them to have confidence to come to the US and get into NASCAR.

Q– Have you gotten any sense of what this win means to your sponsors and for your future?

Suarez– I know it’s important. People have been believing and waiting for this. They tell me all the time that they didn’t question if but when I would win.  It made me push myself extra hard.

Q– Does this win give you any confirmation that you are for real?

Suarez– Yes, there is a difference between being competitive and racing well and actually winning.  Winning is confirmation that there is more you can achieve.

Q– Any response from the people of Monterrey, Mexico after the win?

Suarez– Oh yes, I received many text messeges from people showing love and support.  I am really proud to not only represent Mexico but to be in America and be a part of NASCAR.


The next race in the Xfinity series is:

American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen on June 19th at Iowa Speedway.