News & Media

Mexico Series adds Phoenix to 2013 schedule

October 02, 2012, NASCAR Wire Service,

March race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway next season will have an international flavor.

The track, NASCAR and series manager OCESA announced Tuesday that the Mexico Toyota Series will run its inaugural race in the United States on March 1 as part of the Subway Fresh Fit Sprint Cup Series weekend.

"NASCAR is proud to make this historic announcement with Phoenix International Raceway and OCESA. It represents the next step in the growth of the sport and the international impact NASCAR is making," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "This is a terrific opportunity to expose our fans in the United States to our exciting series from Mexico and continue to help the series and its impressive array of drivers reach new fan."

The Toyota Series is one of three international touring series under the NASCAR banner. The historic race marks the first points event for any of the international series to be held in the United States.

"This is a truly significant day in the history of Phoenix International Raceway. We are both humbled and excited to play host to the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series' first race in the United States," said Bryan Sperber, Phoenix International Raceway president. "We look forward to welcoming the series' great drivers, teams and fans to Phoenix and eagerly anticipate a great event."

The race will kick off the 10th season for the Mexico Toyota Series, which has been a NASCAR-sanctioned series since 2007.

The format for the event on the 1-mile oval will be a 75-lap race, with a break at 50 laps followed by a 25-lap sprint to the finish. The race will count toward the 2013 championship. The series will share the weekend with the Cup Series and K&N Pro Series West.

Daniel Suarez leads the Mexico Toyota Series by two points over Jorge Goeters with two races remaining on the 2012 schedule. The 20-year-old Suarez also runs in the K&N Pro Series -- he is part of the 2012 Next9 class, a group of drivers identified by the industry as the next wave of young rising stars -- and finished third at Phoenix in the K&N Pro Series West race earlier this year.

The Mexico Toyota Series traditionally runs a 14-race schedule, which encompasses eight different tracks this season. The series runs all but one race on ovals and is the premier auto-racing series in Mexico.

"After 10 years of tremendous efforts, NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series has achieved a points race in the U.S. market," said Federico Alaman, managing director of the Mexico Toyota Series. "All of our competitors, series officials and partners are delighted to showcase our sport at a venue as prestigious as Phoenix International Raceway and bring the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series to an American audience."

The series champion, along with the Most Popular Driver and Rookie of the Year, will be honored along with the other champions at the Touring Series Awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in December at in Charlotte.

In addition, the champion will lock up a berth in the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on the 0.4-mile oval on the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway in February 2013.