HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Consistency, focus, and an incredible start were just some factors that helped Daniel Suarez claim the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Leading the race at the beginning for 22 laps straight, Suarez stayed consistent with his driving, and continued leading with a grand total of 133 laps and ultimately winning the Ford EcoBoost 300 Xfinity series.
“To win here in Homestead and have a lot of fans, people all over Latin America, is something really good,” Suarez said. “I am very proud of my team and it’s still hard to believe this.”
Suarez was able to beat Justin Allgaier who stayed in a close second for the first half of the race, as well as winning over Elliott Sadler, a seasoned veteran of the sport, and last year’s Rookie of the Year, Erik Jones.
Daniel Suarez is the first ever international champion in NASCAR racing. The 24 year old from Monterrey, Mexico made history today when he won the title, especially in the last five laps. Winning this championship was all the more meaningful with Suarez’s family by his side.
“I’m speechless right now. I’m just very proud of everyone and thankful to have the family that I have – my mom, my dad.” Suarez said, “They gave me all the tools to be here right now. They put me in a car even when we didn’t have the support or the racing background. They supported me and right now we are just living a dream.”
Suarez is part of the Joe Gibbs Racing team, and he has started a total of 67 races in the past three years, with third wins, 26 top-5, and 46 top-10 showings. Coach Gibbs also emphasized how important this win is for NASCAR.
“We had a meeting two years ago with ARRIS and we sat down and talked about this young guy. And for us to be in two years where we are tonight, it’s a thrill for all of us. This is going to be a big deal for our sport.”
The Ford EcoBoost 300 Xfinity Series race was the continuation of an exciting weekend of races that will all culminate into Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at 2:30 PM.