NASCAR Mexico Series to race at Phoenix in 2013

Associated Press Modified: October 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm •  Published: October 1, 2012
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It's welcome exposure for 20-year-old points leader Daniel Suarez, who has relocated to Charlotte, N.C., in an attempt to climb through the NASCAR ranks.

Suarez has been identified as part of the NASCAR's Next 9 — a group of nine drivers who are under 21 and represent the next wave of young talent. He's on track to become the youngest champion in series history, and won his first race in May at Mexico City.

Suarez said the chance to run at the same track on the same weekend as the premiere Sprint Cup Series gives Mexican drivers an opening to showcase their talent to prospective owners and sponsors.

"People can see what is going on in Mexico," he said. "There are fans who know nothing at all about racing in Mexico. This series is the best in Mexico, the racing is the best. We have more fans, the best drivers, the best sponsors and the chance to race in America is a very big first step."

The race at PIR is a one-year agreement, per NASCAR guidelines. But Silbermann said it's part of a long-term plan for NASCAR.

"This is an important race for making the connection on both sides of the border," he said. "From a business standpoint, a lot of the series sponsors and partners see the value of a race in the U.S., and everyone sees the value in building the sport among Spanish speaking audiences. We believe the race will shine a spotlight and be a pleasant eye-opener for fans when they see the high caliber of talent in that series."