Andres Perez Following in Daniel Suarez’s Footsteps

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

CONCORD, N.C. – NASCAR Drive for Diversity competitor Andres Perez is walking in the footsteps of fellow driver Daniel Suarez in his journey up the NASCAR ladder.

Much like the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion did in 2013 and 2014, Perez is competing full-time in both the ARCA Menards Series in the United States and full-time in the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series in his native Mexico.

That leads to some international attempts at ‘double duty.’ On Memorial Day weekend, Perez won the pole and finished third in the General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After the race he flew back to Mexico to compete in the Monterrey 120, finishing 14th in class, 21st overall.

“I’m also racing… in Mexico, the day after, soon as we finish the ARCA race, I’m flying next day to Mexico [for] the Mexico Series that Saturday night race,” Perez explained. “I go straight to those. I’ve been doing double headers for the last year and a half, and my schedule is very busy and unfortunately, this weekend it was just like that.” 

Suarez believes that Perez is on the right track in his career development. The Mexico City, Mexico native won the 2020 Mickel’s Truck Series and 2022 NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series championships. In his second full-time year of competition in the U.S., Perez is poised to make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut with Spire Motorsports at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

The Trackhouse Racing driver explained that the transition that Perez is about to undertake, moving from ARCA to the Truck Series is the biggest one that he faces. It’s a move that fellow Drive for Diversity alum Rajah Caruth and Nick Sanchez both have undertaken in recent years.

“I think Andres is doing a great job,” Suarez said. “He is definitely learning a lot and growing a lot, not just in ARCA but outside the racetrack. I’m very happy to see him make the next step. I think the step that he’s about to [take] is probably the biggest step in the transition [compared to the] series that you ran in the past.

“From Mexico to ARCA, yeah, that’s a good step. But from ARCA to trucks, it’s a big step when it comes to competition and the quality of the driver and quality of the trucks so yeah, I think Andres is going to do great.” 

Perez has talked with Suarez about competing in both the U.S. and Mexico. He is competing for the same teams in ARCA and in the Mexico Series that the Monterrey, Mexico native drove for years ago. That gives Perez a small advantage as both teams are experienced in having a driver competing full-time in two different countries.

“It’s good to say that Daniel used to race NASCAR Mexico, also in in the same team in the ARCA Series, [Rev Racing], the same team as I am with,” Perez said. “I’m in a way following what he did racing with the Rev Racing program and in Mexico. I’ve talked to him on that side.” 

Overall, Suarez believes that the most important thing for Perez is that the 19-year-old needs to surround himself with good people. When Suarez was climbing the ladder, he didn’t know many people in the U.S., and learned English by watching cartoons and other TV shows.

Ultimately, the main advice that Suarez has given Perez is to learn as much as he can now and just because you’re winning and successful in Mexico now, doesn’t mean that you’ll find that same success as quickly in ARCA or Truck competition.

“You just have to surround yourself with good people,” Suarez explained. “I think the biggest disadvantage that we have coming from Mexico is that we don’t really know anyone. We don’t know who’s good, who’s not and things like that. So, surround yourself with good people and try to learn as much as possible now. Just because you’re winning in Mexico, doesn’t mean that you’re going to be winning here. Be humble and try to learn.”

Perez’s Truck Series debut in the Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FOX. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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