Over its near 75 year history, NASCAR has had a number of non-American born drivers including Italian born Mario Andretti, Colombian born Juan Pablo Montoya, several Canadian born drivers, and Mexican born Daniel Suarez who went on to become the only non-American born driver to win a championship in NASCAR when he won the Xfinity Series championship.
MBM Motorsports will again make NASCAR history when Baltazar Leguizamon will become the first Argentine born driver in the Xfinity Series next season.
Currently Leguizamon is scheduled to make his debut on March 25 at the road course at Circuit of the Americas. He is hoping to run all of the road courses in 2023 including the new street race at Chicago.
Speaking through a release, Leguizamon said, “I am really proud to be the first Argentinean with a NASCAR national series license. It’s been a long way on my career living my dream in international motorsports. All the hard work is paying off right now. This is huge for us, for my country, and for South America. It’s my childhood dream beginning to come true.”
The COTA start is far from Leguizamon’s first race; he has a total of 165 race starts around the world with 56 podium finishes including the 2018 Atlantic Championship Series title. Unlike NASCAR who celebrates only the winner; other racing sports celebrate the top three winners similar to the celebrations seen for finishes during the Olympics.
He continued, “I am very thankful to everyone involved with this project: the NASCAR administration; my manager of eight years, Bruce Bohlander of Legacy Autosport; and Carl Long of MBM Motorsports, who opened this door for me and is helping me to reach this level. We’ve won in seven different series, and we want to keep going at this very seriously. Still, we need to find sponsors.”
Last season Timmy Hill and JJ Yeley drove multiple Xfinity Series races for MBM. Dawson Cram, Natalie Decker, Chad Finchum, Matt Jaskol, Akinori Ogata, and Wil Rodgers also made starts for MBM.
The 22 year old Baltazar Leguizamon hails from Arrecifes – a province 112 miles northwest of Buenos Aires. His series credits include F3, Top Race V6, and the Argentine touring car series.
Feature photo credit: Baltazar Leguizamon’s Facebook page