If Daniel Suarez takes the checkered flag at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26, it’ll be the first time a Mexican driver wins ‘the Great American Race.’ Before Daniel gets to make racing history one more time, get to know all about him.
1. He’s already made NASCAR history.
Daniel Suarez, 25, would love to be the first Mexican-born NASCAR driver to win the Daytona 500, but before “The Great American Race” takes place on Feb. 26, he’ll already be in the history books.
Born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Daniels is the first drive of Latin descent to race full time in the NASCAR XFINITY series (the equivalent of NASCAR’s minor league.) He joined the league in 2015, winning Rookie Of The Year. He’d claim the XFINITY championship in 2016, making him the first ever foreign-born driver to win a NASCAR national series title, according to For The Win.
2. He’s close to his family.
Despite his job taking him into the U.S., Daniel maintains a close connection with his mother and two sisters by calling them every day, according to USA Today. They’re also his good luck charms, as he scored three straight top-five finishes when they came to visit him in 2016. “My team is looking forward to them coming again,” he said.
3. Daniel does not like messes.
Daniel agreed to let his childhood friend and fellow racer, Enrique Baca, 25, move in with him but under one condition: he had to clean up his act. “I said, ‘OK, you’re my best buddy, but I can’t handle dirty dishes or stuff all over the place,” Daniel said. “I like everything clean, everything right.” His “clean freak” habits started when he was a child, as he would always make sure to put away his toy cars before going to visit his grandmother.
4. No surprise: his favorite hobby involves cars.
He still has a box of 100 Hot Wheels from when he was a boy. “I put a piece of fabric in every single spot to avoid scratching the cars,” he tells USA Today. He and his father have a car restoration shop in Mexico, but while in the US, he keeps busy by restoring two classic Volkswagen Beetles. One of them is a 1994 beetle he drove from Mexico to North Carolina.
5. He’s staying out of the fight between Mexico and Donald Trump.
With President Donald Trump, 70, threatening to build his wall between the US and Mexico, Daniel thinks “we will have to build a ladder – that’s it,” he tells For The Win. However, that’s all Daniel is going to say on the feud between Trump and Mexico. “I don’t follow politics. I don’t have any interest in politics, either,” he said. “This country has given me all the tools to be successful in racing and to be able to do what I love, to do every single weekend. For me that’s great.”
Do you want Daniel to win the Daytona 500, HollywoodLifers?