Daniel Suarez with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown [City of Buffalo][/caption]One of the real pleasant surprises in NASCAR's Monster Energy Cup series is the great season that Mexican-born Daniel Suarez is putting together.  The rookie driver has four Top-10 finishes this season including a season and career high 6th place finish at Dover in early June.  Despite being unable to win a race yet this season he stands 18th in the driver standings, but only 45 points out of the 16th and final playoff spot entering this week's race at New Hampshire.

Last year Suarez became the first Latin American driver to win a championship in one of the top three touring divisions when he won the Xfinity Series title.  He dominated the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Raceway starting from the pole and leading 133 laps.  The victory closed out a season in which he finished inside the Top 10 for all 33 races.

His season and championship was a big deal in Mexico and in all of Latin America.  He's a graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program and says he's proud to be a Latin American driver.

Although he now lives in North Carolina it's interesting to know that Suarez moved to the United States in 2011 and the first place he came to was Buffalo, NY.  Buffalo certainly has its share of race fans, but it's not a hot-bed of racing like North Carolina.  Suarez had a rough time of it in Buffalo and he was ready to quit and go back home.  His dad kept encouraging him though and told him to stay positive.

And Suarez is glad he kept at it.  Now he's racing in NASCAR's top series with Joe Gibbs Racing.

As a role model for Mexicans and Latin Americans around the world, Suarez accepted an invitation to help celebrate a new partnership between the City of Buffalo, the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Parade of WNY Association and Watkins Glen International where Suarez will drive in his first Monster Energy Cup event in New York State next month.  As part of that partnership Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown proclaimed Wednesday, July 12th Daniel Suarez Day in Buffalo.

Suarez has overcome many challenges and obstacles in his life and come a long way in a short period of time both on and off the racetrack.  Here he's shown signing the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge... which promotes inclusion, diversity and equity.


[City of Buffalo][/caption]The Puerto Rican and Hispanic Parade will be held Saturday, August 19th starting in front of City Hall at 1:00 pm and marching north on Niagara St.  The parade will be followed by a free concert and party at LaSalle Park.

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