When Daniel Suarez driver of the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing came to race in the states it was a process. Early on when first arriving Suarez speaking to the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce luncheon when asked about learning English that he didn’t have money to hire a teacher.
Further explain he said he would sit and watch movies day after day to learn and the he continues to learn from others as he has risen through the ranks of the NASCAR series.
In 2016 Suarez would become the first foreign born driver to claim a seasonal championship in the Xfinity Series. Noting that he had started gaining popularity through his home country as they watched him ascend and his career begin to take off.
“It wasn’t here at first, it’s not something that happened over night or in just one year. A lot of people now in Mexico are becoming more and more interested in NASCAR. There are race fans in Mexico, but I feel many of them are becoming NASCAR fans and it’s something very good for the sport.” Said Suarez
“The good thing is I start hearing of a lot of fans in Brazil, Argentina and Columbia that I didn’t know we had and that’s something that very cool.” Suarez continues.
Suarez isn’t the only driver making headway into the national series NASCAR racing, Alon Day and others within the NASCAR Euro Series have started making the trek to the state to make started in various series.
Much of this is a learning curve for these drivers, Marcos Ambrose for example raced for several seasons in the highest levels of NASCAR winning on the road courses and a championship winning background in the V8 Supercar in Australia.
“The biggest things are to know on how things work, it’s always difficult to understand how everything works, it’s a process and with us being here now it will start making things easier.” Suarez commenting on other drivers making the transition to NASCAR.
Suarez earlier in the week visited with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to promote NASCAR racing return to the Commonwealth and touring the new garages that will open at Richmond Raceway next weekend as part of a $30 million dollar renovation of the track.
“It was a fun day visiting Richmond,” said Suárez. “The new Cup garages are going to be incredible. I’m glad I was able to be the first driver up here to get a sneak peek at all the work that has been going on. I can’t wait to come back here next weekend for the Toyota Owners 400.”
NASCAR racing returns to the Capitol of Virginia at Richmond Raceway next weekend, April 20 – 21 for the Xfinity Series Toyota Car 250 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 under the lights of the three-quarter D-Shaped oval.