Feb 28, 2014, 11:11 PM EDT
A last-lap pass enabled NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Daniel Suarez to take the checkered flag in tonight’s NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series’ 120-mile season-opener at Phoenix International Raceway.
Suarez had suffered a speeding penalty on pit road earlier in the race, but clawed his way to the front and pulled into second place with 20 laps to go.
After hounding Antonio Perez all the way to the white flag, Suarez got a run on the inside of Perez through the flat part of the PIR dogleg. Suarez was able to complete the pass into Turn 3 and then beat eventual runner-up Rodrigo Peralta to the stripe by less than a car length.
After hanging on for the win, Suarez stopped his car on the frontstretch, stepped onto the roof, and channeled his inner Kyle Busch by taking a bow for the fans.
Suarez has now claimed his fourth straight NASCAR touring win. He won the Toyota Series’ season finale in 2013 and then opened this year’s K&N East season with a pair of wins at New Smyrna (Fla.) and the Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway.
The 22-year-old native of Monterrey, Mexico races for the RevRacing team in the K&N East series, which is the flagship team for NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity project. He was named one of the NASCAR Next prospects for 2013-14 last year.
Perez, Luis Felipe Montano, and Ruben Pardo rounded out the Top 5 finishers. IndyCar Series veteran Mario Dominguez finished in 10th position.