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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A debut that made history returns for an encore, as the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series will again open its season as part of Phoenix International Raceway’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Weekend with the Toyota 120 on Friday, Feb. 28.
In an historic first, the race will air LIVE on mun2 – the U.S. Hispanic cable network, a division of Telemundo Media.
Abraham Calderon won last year’s wildly popular inaugural event last season – a race that marked the first NASCAR international series to hold a points race in the U.S.
“NASCAR stock car racing has really grown over the last decade in Mexico, thanks in large part to the tremendous success of the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR Vice President of Touring & Weekly Racing. “Bringing the series to Phoenix, we are able to showcase to fans in the United States the exciting racing and high-level of competition of the series.”
This year’s race will be 120 laps, an increase in length from last year’s 75-lap event. Calderon, who led the final 62 laps to pick up his first career win in that race, will be back and will be challenged by the series’ rising young stars such as Daniel Suarez and Ruben Garcia Jr. Drivers from a dozen Mexican states including Chihuahua, Jalisco, and Sinaloa as well as Mexico City, will all be chasing defending series champion Rodrigo Perralta.
“At Deportes Telemundo we are very excited to bring the most popular motorsport in the U.S. to the Hispanic audience for the first time on our cable network mun2,” said Jorge Hidalgo, Telemundo Media's Executive Vice President of Network Sports. “These highly popular NASCAR properties are a perfect complement to our Deportes Telemundo offering.”
The NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series is in its eighth year under the NASCAR banner. Three-time series champion German Quiroga has moved up to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he’ll be competing full-time, while Suarez is expected to also be one of the top challengers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he’s driving for Rev Racing and NASCAR Drive for Diversity.
“Bringing back the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series is something that we started discussing the moment the checkered flag dropped on last year’s race,” said Bryan R. Sperber, President of Phoenix International Raceway. “The drivers really wowed our fans – the racing was tremendous from start to finish. It’s an important race for our track and our community, and it means a lot to have a sponsor the caliber of Toyota on board to help us put on this event.”
Phoenix is celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season, and the March weekend will also feature the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series as well as the season opener for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.