Gonzalez to become first Caribbean in Cup race
June 22, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Victor Gonzalez Jr., of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, will become the first Caribbean-born racer to run a NASCAR premier series race when he takes the green flag on Sunday in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
The 37-year-old will start the race in the 43rd position after wrecking his primary car while attempting a lap in the first session of group qualifying for the Coors Light Pole.
Of the attempt, Gonzalez wrote on his Facebook page, “Made a mistake into 10 and pay the price. Feel bad [for] all the guys at Tommy Baldwin Racing, that have done a great job and all the fans for their support. Now the guys are working [on] the Backup car for tomorrow.”
In seven NASCAR Nationwide Series races, run from 2009 to 2012, Gonzalez had a best finish of 14th in his NASCAR national series debut at Montreal in 2009.
Gonzalez will join two other drivers who are also making their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Alex Kennedy and former NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Paulie Harraka also make their debuts on the California road course.
The last time three or more drivers debuted in the same Sprint Cup race was at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 24, 2004 when Chad Chaffin, Mario Gosselin and Travis Kvapil made their maiden voyage in NASCAR’s top series.