It was a historic weekend for the NASCAR Cup Series when Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez became the twelfth different driver to win a race in the 2022 season. While there have been nearly all of the top 16 spots in the playoff filled by the end of the regular season, the 30 year old Suarez is just one of a very few Cup Series drivers to win a race and not born in the United States.
Prior to coming to the Cup Series, Suarez drove in the Xfinity Series where he became the first non-American born driver to win the championship.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico Daniel Suarez raced in Mexico in NASCAR Peak Mexico Series prior to coming to the United States where his dream was to become a NASCAR racer. And race he did, taking his number 99 car to victory lane at Sonoma Raceway on June 12, 2022 in the Save Mart 350. Sonoma is a 1.99 road course race with eleven turns.
Suarez has made 195 starts as a Cup Series driver.
The win made Suarez the first Mexican born driver to win in the Cup Series and only the fifth driver in NASCAR’s history born outside of the United States.
An emotional Suarez spoke on the day’s events saying, “it’s a crazy day. I have so many thoughts in my head right now. I mean, it’s been a rough road. It’s been a rough journey in the Cup Series. These guys believe in me — Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks, Ty Norris. Everyone that helped me to get to this point. A lot of people in Mexico: Jay Morales, Carlos Slim. My family, they never gave up on me. A lot of people did, but they didn’t. … Just very happy we were able to make it work.”
Team owner Justin Marks credited Suarez as being an integral part of making Trackhouse Racing a success.
Prior to coming to the Cup Series, Suarez graduated from the Drive for Diversity program before driving in the K&N East Series (today known as the ARCA Series), the Camping World Truck Series, and the Xfinity Series.
After finishing in the top five on the road course at Auto Club Speedway Suarez said, “we’re going to win a few races very soon here. I just can’t thank everyone enough in my team. We had a fast car, but we went through a lot of adversity. … I’m happy and I’m honored at the same time. I can tell you that I’m going to work very, very hard to go to Victory Lane very, very soon here.”
Signing Daniel Suarez to Trackhouse Racing also brought Latin Music star Armando Perez better known as Pitbull to the sport as a minority owner. In 2022, Trackhouse Racing signed Watermelon Man Ross Chastain onboard. Chastain has smashed two watermelons this season at victory lane.
The four other winning drivers to win a Cup Series race not born in the U.S. are Italian born Mario Andretti, Canadian Earl Ross, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya who won twice, and Australian Marcos Ambrose who also won two races.
feature photo credit: Daniel Suarez – 2017 Camping World 500 (cropped).jpg