NASCAR Targeting Latinos With Race Featuring Mexican Drivers

Published February 21, 2013

| EFE

More than two dozen Mexican NASCAR drivers will make history on March 1 when they race for the first time in the United States.

"It's an historic race that we're going to have in Arizona. It's the first time for NASCAR Mexico to come to the U.S., for us to cross the border to be with Latinos and show Americans the great (drivers) we have in Mexico," Ruben Pardo, a member of the group, told Efe.

"The NASCAR bracket is very competitive, the best drivers in Mexico are in that category, it's grown a lot in terms of fans and the companies that support them," he said.

Pardo, 32, said that the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series "is very professional, the drivers look after their diets, they exercise, the teams train."

He emphasized that U.S. Latinos will be able to enjoy the broadcast of the 75-lap event at Phoenix International Raceway in Spanish in keeping with an agreement signed last year with Fox Deportes.

NASCAR and Fox Deportes established an alliance to offer sports content in Spanish that will include coverage of 15 races, including the upcoming Daytona 500.

NASCAR in 2011 launched a five-year plan with an eye toward reaching a younger, more diverse public and toward penetrating the Hispanic market, which now represents only 10 percent of its audience.

Pardo, the first Hispanic to be named rookie of the year in the NASCAR Busch East Series in the United States in 2006, has had some serious crashes and his brother Carlos was killed in 2009 during a race, but he said that he has not thought about retiring from the raceway.

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