Daniel Suárez made NASCAR history after winning the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California on Sunday. As mentioned by the Associated Press, Suárez is the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race as he was able to hold off Chris Buescher for the victory. This is Suárez’s first Cup Series win in 195 career starts.
“It’s a crazy day. I have so many thoughts in my head right now,” Suárez said, becoming emotional in his victory celebration, per NASCAR.com. “I mean, it’s been a rough road. It’s been a rough journey in the Cup Series. These guys believe in me — Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks, Ty Norris. Everyone that helped me to get to this point. A lot of people in Mexico: Jay Morales, Carlos Slim. My family, they never gave up on me. A lot of people did, but they didn’t. … Just very happy we were able to make it work.”
🏁: History is made! @Daniel_SuarezG becomes the first Mexican driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race!
🏁: ¡Triunfo histórico! Daniel Suárez se convierte en el primer piloto mexicano en ganar una carrera de la NASCAR Cup Series. pic.twitter.com/wOjtd2ekh1
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 12, 2022
Suárez, 30, is currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff standings. However, the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion is currently just two points behind Erik Jones who has the 16th and final spot in the playoffs if they were to start today. Along with the win, Suárez has earned five top-10 finishes, three top-five finishes two stage wins.
“I didn’t care who was behind me,” Suárez told reporters after the race. “I was just trying to do my race, trying to control what I can control. I knew that Buescher was very strong in the short run. Probably a little bit better than me. But in the middle part of the run I was better than him. In the long run I felt like I was better than him. It was able to play out pretty good right there near the end.
“I knew if I stay up front for the first five to seven laps, I was going to be able to control the race. Obviously, the last 10, five laps, I was just trying to take care of my tires in case we had a restart. If we had a restart at that point, I knew we were not going to come for tires. It was going to be a track position race.”