Suarez first Mexican to win NASCAR event
BROOKLYN, Mich. — 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.
"To be able to be an example to bring more people is great," said Suarez, who moved to the U.S. five years ago.
Busch led 88 of the 125 laps in the Menards 250 race Saturday, but couldn't stay ahead of Suarez for the final two laps.
"I didn't know Suarez was coming like that," Busch said. "He had some speed."
The 24-year-old Suarez is the first non-American to lead any of NASCAR's three national series in points. He became the first Mexican to win the Xfinity Series rookie of the year award last year.
Winning, for the first time, adds quite a feat to his list of accomplishments.
"This is monumental," said David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development
Busch, Paul Menard, Erik Jones and Elliott Sadler finished in the top five.
"It couldn't have been scripted better because he had to beat some heavy hitters," Wilson said. "He didn't do it at a stand-alone event."
Suarez won for the first time in 48 starts in NASCAR's national series, getting rewarded for a climb through the sport's development programs. He became a part of NASCAR in 2011 and was involved in its Drive for Diversity and Next programs.