NASCAR boss says Suarez's Xfinity title 'validates' diversity push

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France believes that Daniel Suarez's 2016 Xfinity Series title validates his organisation's efforts to promote diversity

NASCAR boss says Suarez's Xfinity title 'validates' diversity push

Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Suarez has become the first non-American to win a NASCAR National championship.

He is a graduate of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity programme to attract female and ethnic minority drivers to the category.

"We're very proud that it validates our diversity plan in a significant way," said France of Suarez's success.

"What we've said through the years is these things take time to find the kind of talent that can actually compete at a high level on the biggest stages, and he's done that.

"I got some nice calls from people south of the border that are very proud of him, and we're very proud of him."

France was adamant that "without the Drive for Diversity programme, with certainty, Daniel Suarez is not in NASCAR".

Asked whether his support of president-elect Donald Trump conflicted with NASCAR's diversity push, France replied: "My efforts there should never be challenged, no matter what my political views might be. That's a ridiculous thing to do.

"On diversity, nobody in this company has worked harder, done more and resourced it better than me.

"I founded the Diversity Council. I fought for every single thing that makes sense, because that's my core belief about diversity."

Suarez led 133 of 200 laps in the Homestead finale last month as he sealed the Xfinity title with a win.

"The very first time that I was going to move to the States, a lot of people told me it was going to be difficult because I was a Mexican driver, and nobody else made it happen in the past," said the 24-year-old.

"I was very, very close to going back to Mexico, to my country, because I just didn't feel like I was good enough. But NASCAR gave me a shot.

"So I feel like being a driver from Mexico, from Latin America, has given me more opportunities than what I was expecting in the beginning."

Suarez is expected to continue competing in Xfinity for Joe Gibbs Racing next season, though his team owner suggested he would rapidly graduate to NASCAR's top championship.

"It's going to be pretty quick we'll be going to Cup," said Gibbs.

"I think it's in Daniel's hands, but obviously he's performed so well."

shares
comments
Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR Sprint Cup title hopes felt "pretty bleak"
Previous article

Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR Sprint Cup title hopes felt "pretty bleak"

Next article

New NASCAR Toyota: 'Aggressive' 2017 Cup contender unveiled

New NASCAR Toyota: 'Aggressive' 2017 Cup contender unveiled
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021