When thinking of Daniel Suárez, two words come to mind: speed and determination. 

The NASCAR driver has carved a unique path for himself in the world of racing. He did so first, etching his name in NASCAR history as the first Mexican driver to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2016. Then, he made history again by winning the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Sonoma Raceway in 2022. Earlier this year, he went viral after capturing a win at Atlanta Motor Speedway by a 0.003-second margin over drivers Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch.

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“For me, the most important part is the representation, to be able to represent myself, my team, and all my community in NASCAR,” he says. “The first win was special in Sonoma, a year and a half ago. The second one, this year, was already very good. But I think it’s time to do it again.”

Suárez’s passion for the sport goes beyond the track, stemming back to his Mexican roots. As part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program, he moved to the United States in 2011 and built his racing dreams from scratch. 

“When I moved to the United States back in 2011, really, in my mind, had to start from zero because I didn’t have anything,” he tells mitú. “I had no family, no friends, no money. I didn’t even speak English at the time, so it was starting from zero.” 

This experience inspired him to build representation for Latinos through his craft. 

“Today, I see many people, my people, my community, going through similar situations like I was ten years ago,” he adds. For me, it’s very special to be able to connect with these people and tell them about my experiences and what I had to go through to give them a little bit of encouragement to continue to push and continue to move forward.”

Suárez is paving the way for future generations of Latinos to join NASCAR

While building a name for himself, the 32-year-old is focused on expanding his career as much as possible to help others in the Latino community feel seen. 

“Racing is amazing. I love racing; it’s my passion. It is my life. With that being said, the picture has to be even wider,” he explains. “My goal is to win races, win championships, and be that driver that [the Latino community] can connect with in NASCAR.”

Adding, “Representation is very important for me. I want my community to see me and see this sport as an option. As a racecar driver, a mechanic, an engineer, a pit crew member, you name it. There are thousands of different positions that they can see in the sport of NASCAR.” 

Suárez has experienced this himself, going beyond the track and appearing in the 2017 Pixar animated film Cars 3 as Danny Swervez and as a NASCAR commentator for the NASCAR Xfinity races. 

Sometimes, I broadcast for the NASCAR Xfinity races. There are a few reasons why I do this. Number one is because I enjoy it. Number two is because I feel like I learn something. Number three, which I think is probably the most important one, is representation,” he shares. 

“You know, I would love to see, one day, a Hispanic commentator in NASCAR. Why not? Talking in English and mixing a little bit with Spanish,” he adds. “I do it because I know that there are some kids right now at home who are looking at me saying, ‘Hey, man, he’s a racecar driver, but he’s commentating. Oh, well, I don’t like racing. I don’t want to be a racecar driver, but I would love to be commentating.’” 

The NASCAR Diversity Driver Development Program was a huge part of Suárez’s drive to success

The future is bright for Suárez as he continues scaling his racing career with new wins and aspirations. He hopes young people aspiring to have a career in NASCAR will see his success and consider joining the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program.

The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program was created in 2004 to develop and train top drivers from diverse backgrounds and experiences, both on and off the track. Rev Racing, which operates the program, brings together championship-caliber executives, competition staff, and equipment in a unique academy-style environment. The team owned by Max and Jennifer Siegel is based in Concord, N.C.

Since the program’s inception, several graduates have moved on to compete at the national series level, achieving significant milestones. Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace are also products of the program and are currently in the NASCAR Cup Series, making their own dent in NASCAR history.

Suárez made history in 2022, becoming the first Mexican-born driver to win a race in the NASCAR Cup Series. In 2023, Suárez completed his third season driving for Trackhouse Racing, a team owned by Justin Marks and Pitbull.

I feel like this program helped me to continue my career. It wasn’t easy, especially when I was part of this program ten years ago,” Suárez says. “I feel like the program back then wasn’t even close to where it is today. I was talking to some of the drivers who are part of this program, and I told them how fortunate they are for all the different opportunities that they have, for the sponsors they have, the quality of the equipment.” 

Aside from NASCAR, Suárez other passions are sushi and his pets

Of course, this Monterrey native also makes time for indulging in life when he’s not on the track. For one, he loves his family — he connects with his parents nearly every day — and has pet dogs and cats. Although he loves a good carne asada taco, his favorite food is actually sushi.

While his passion for driving continues to fuel everything in his life, family is the most important thing to him, and he hopes to build one soon. 

Needless to say, this champion is headed for success faster than fast.