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MONTERREY, Mexico – Rubén Rovelo won the Regia 200, the NASCAR Toyota Series season opener, on Sunday at Autódromo Monterrey.
Rovelo, out of Mexico City, surrendered the lead to a hard-charging Daniel Suárez on Lap 53, but he stayed close enough to hound the young Suárez for about five laps before Rovelo drove his No. 5 TELMEX Toyota to the inside of Suárez on Lap 60 and eventually beat polesitter Abraham Calderón to the line by 4.930 seconds.
For Rovelo, it was his first trip to Victory Lane since September 2010 in Mexico City. It was his fifth series-career win and his second on the road course at Monterrey.
Jorge Goeters finished third followed by his younger brother, Patrick, in fourth. Rogelio López crossed the line in the fifth position.
Antonio Pérez, rookies Rodrigo Peralta and Ruben Garcia Jr. along with Carlos Peralta and Hector Félix rounded out the top 10.
Suárez stated after the race that he had a tire go down as he limped to a 12th-place finish.
The race was red flagged on a Lap 45 restart when Irwin Vences' car got turned into the retaining wall that triggered an accident that collected 10 cars many of which were running inside the top 15.
The Regia 200 is the only road course on the NASCAR Toyota Series schedule in 2012.
New for the NASCAR Toyota Series in 2012 is the adoption of the 43-to-1 points system instituted by NASCAR’s top-three series last year. The race winner gets a three-point bonus while drivers leading a lap get a one-point bonus and the driver leading the most laps gets an additional point.
The NASCAR Toyota Series is back on the track for the Potosina 200 on April 15 at Autódromo Potosino in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
Rubén Rovelo takes the checkered flag at Autódromo Monterrey for his first win since September 2010. OCESA