‘Resilient’ NASCAR star Daniel Suarez becomes U.S. citizen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – One of NASCAR’s most popular drivers completed the journey to U.S. citizenship on Tuesday.

Daniel Suarez, the first and only Mexican-born driver to win a Cup Series race, took the oath of allegiance in Charlotte, seven years after making his debut at NASCAR’s highest level.

Among those in attendance to support Suarez was NASCAR President Steve Phelps, who gave a speech to the driver and the rest of the newly minted American citizens.

“I truly admire your commitment and accomplishment,” Phelps said. “It takes a great deal of courage to come to the United States and as we like to say in sports, bet on yourself…I commend you for all that you have done to become a citizen.”

Phelps described Suarez’s journey as one of resilience, applauding him for his determination and drive to not only compete at the top level, but also for his striving to become a citizen.

On April 29, Suarez said in a video posted to his Instagram that he had passed the citizenship exam and was looking forward to becoming a dual citizen.

Before his Cup Series dream became a reality, the driver of the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing car learned English by watching cartoons, then working his way through NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.

Suarez made his NASCAR debut in 2014 with races in both the Xfinity and Truck Series, after previously racing for six years in Mexico. The following year, he earned a full-time ride with Joe Gibbs Racing before moving up to the team’s Cup Series lineup in 2017.

After exits from Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing, his career found new life with Trackhouse, which is co-owner by international music superstar Pitbull. He was signed as the team’s first-ever driver in 2021.

He made history in 2022, winning at Sonoma Raceway to become the first Mexican to win a Cup race. Then, this February, he won for the second time in his career, beating Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch by a nose in one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history.

Related: Suarez edges Blaney, Busch in thrilling 3-wide finish to claim Cup Series win at Atlanta