Friday night, an auto racing globetrotter will debut on one of motorsports’ biggest stages when he races for the first time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Richmond. Ladies and gentlemen, meet one Daniel Suarez of Monterrey, Mexico.
Never heard of him? That’s o.k., chances are Suarez hasn’t heard of you either. While he’s a newer face on the American scene, the 22-year old has making a name for himself wherever he’s been to date. He’s currently the points leader in the NASCAR Toyota Mexico series- where Suarez has won two starts- and Suarez also nabbed a pair of victories in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
It won’t be just any old jalopy he’ll be wheeling. Daniel Suarez will make his NNS debut in one of the best rides in the business, the number 20 Toyota of Joe Gibbs Racing, a virtual cradle of stars. Right from the get go, he will matriculate in a car that will allow him to drive as far and as fast as his talent will take him.
This is the kind attention grabbing NASCAR needs more of. Chase Elliott has caught the eye of more than a few fans who had lost interest with inescapable presence of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stalwarts stinking up the show. Now comes along another fresh face, one with the capability of adding a more diverse presence to NASCAR Nation. That’s a good thing, especially if the sparkling resume Suarez has accumulated so far indicates there’s more where that came from.
Some will dismiss this as a gimmick, but when you look at the track record of Suarez, his arrival is not some bone being thrown to take our eyes off the Buschwhackers. In the Mexico Series, he has 7 wins in 63 starts, was runner-up in points last season, rookie of the year in 2010, and has captured 3 wins in 34 K&N Series competition. He’s earned it.
One of the Nationwide Series’ big problems for this fan is it had gotten stale- too predictable. Who knows how it will go for the youngster Friday night. This fan, and many others will tune in to find out. This could be the beginning of a ground breaking career.