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MONTERREY, Mexico – Winning in his hometown paled in comparison to the August heat for Rafael Martínez as he won the Regia 200 at Autódromo Monterrey in NASCAR Mexico Series action on Sunday.
The Monterrey native and 2007 series champion led the final 30 laps en route to his first win since April 11, 2010. It was the 15th career win for the pilot of the No. 18 Canels/Scotiabank Mazda.
Germán Quiroga pressured Martínez down the stretch but it wasn’t enough as he trailed by .195 seconds at the finish line. It was the fourth runner-up finish of the season for Quiroga.
Rubén Rovelo placed third followed by Daniel Suárez in the fourth position while Rogelio López, Freddy Tame Jr., Antonio Pérez. Homero Richards, Rubén Garcia Novoa and Jorge Goeters completed the top 10.
The seventh-place finish by Richards ended his four-race winning streak.
The whole race weekend had a local flavor as Suárez, also from Monterrey, won his first series career pole position in Saturday's qualifying.
By virtue of the second-place effort Quiroga was able to extend his lead to 105 points over Richards in the championship standings. Rovelo and Goeters remain within striking distance with just five races remaining on the 2011 calendar.
The NASCAR Mexico Series is back on the track on Sept. 4 in its second visit to Nuevo Autódromo de Querétaro in 2011.