By Cynthia Esqueda/for The Sporting Nation (with photos from Nigel Kinrade)
PHOENIX- Adrenaline, speed, ambition, strength and determination are what brought Daniel Suárez to pursue a professional career as a NASCAR racer.
Raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Suarez grew up with passion to race and win, and that determination marked his future forever. Suarez is a well-known Mexican racer who has become one of the best young drivers in the sport. Suarez has found passion in sports and has been part of many, although car racing was the one, from a very young age he knew would be his calling.
“I began racing at the age of 11, and I'm 25 years old now. This is my greatest vice, once you enter you cannot get out for some reason,” Suárez said. “Many years of racing, many years of adrenaline and the investment put into this with my dad and my family has been a very great part of my life and I would not change it for anything.”
Suarez is proud of his upbringing and his unconditional support of his family and parents. He knows that to be part of this industry you need support and guidance from your loved ones. Suarez continuously has been an important idol for the Mexican and Hispanic community and he continues to make them proud by becoming part of the new Phoenix Raceway Project.
Suarez is one of NASCAR's faces of the $178 million renovation taking place at Phoenix International Raceway.
His love for racing did not come from a family member in the industry; it was something he found with in himself. “ I am the first one of the family that began to race cars, it was definitely something new for all of us," Suarez said. "My father was the one who started to support me with all this although my mom did not approve at first, now she is understanding of my passion.”
Suárez is the first foreign-born NASCAR champion. His awards include 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion, 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year, and 2010 NASCAR Corona Series Rookie of the Year. At the age of 25, Suarez has accomplished so much in his career.
His public relations manager, Donald Edwards, believes that Suarez’s hard work and determination has brought out the best he can be. “Daniel’s goals are to win the championship in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, he definitely enjoys the competition and winning,” Edwards said. He understands Suarez’s success in Mexico and how much it means to his country.
"He continues to grow with the newly formed NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series. Suarez is more than excited to be part of the Phoenix Raceway, he feels like it is his second home."
Suarez began racing go-karts when he was 11 years old, advancing quickly through the racing ranks. "His hard work and commitment to the sport has led him to pursue his career, and allowed him to break standards and records," said Gloria Molina, NASCAR's Diversity Affairs manager, earlier this year. “When he makes his debut in the Daytona 500 next week, he will again make history becoming the first Mexican-born driver to compete in this iconic race. He also becomes the first Mexican-born driver to race full time in the sport’s highest and most prestigious series.”
In October 2016, Suarez, through a partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, represented NASCAR at the White House during Hispanic Heritage Month. He shared his inspirational journey with Latino students as part of President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which focuses on creating opportunities for underrepresented youth. Suárez has dedicated time to community causes, and has become a major part of the future of NASCAR while introducing a new generation of fans to the world of stock-car racing.