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Daniel Suárez grabs historic NASCAR Cup Series win at Sonoma

Trackhouse racing wins big tonight as Daniel Suarez punches his ticket to the playoffs.
Credit: AP
Daniel Suarez drinks some of the wine from the winner's goblet after a NASCAR Cup Series race, Sunday, June 12, 2022, at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

SONOMA, Calif. — Daniel Suárez had tears in his eyes for so many reasons Sunday after he realized a lifelong dream by crossing the finish line first at Sonoma Raceway.

While Suárez was overjoyed to become the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race, he quickly felt overwhelmed with gratitude and memories of his motorsports journey. He also thought about the multitude of fans backing him across the continent and beyond, including several hundred red-shirted supporters screaming their hearts out in the Sonoma grandstands as part of his Daniel’s Amigos outreach program.

“I just feel extremely lucky,” Suárez said after holding off Chris Buescher to the checkered flag.

“I’m fortunate to be that driver that the whole Hispanic community can connect with,” he added. “I feel like I have an entire country and community behind me. The people wearing red shirts today, those are my people. Some of them, they have exactly the same journey I have — coming from Mexico, not knowing the language, trying to find an opportunity, having goals and trying to make that dream happen. These are my people, and I feel lucky to be the person to represent all of them.”

Despite those poignant thoughts, this occasion was not solemn for the 30-year-old native of Monterrey who finally won in the 195th career start of a Cup Series career that began in 2017.

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