Las Vegas, Nevada - Daniel Suarez quietly reached a NASCAR milestone on Saturday.
With his second-place finish in the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Suarez moved atop the Xfinity Series standings. According to NASCAR.com, that makes him the first foreign-born driver to lead one of NASCAR's national touring series.
Suarez, 24, is from Mexico.
Some would say that's a big deal in a sport that has worked hard in recent years to diversify its base of fans and competitors. In fact, Suarez, who drives the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, is a former participant in NASCAR's Drive For Diversity program.
Suarez, who began his NASCAR career racing mini-stocks in Mexico in 2008, didn't seem to realize his precedent-setting feat Saturday. And although it's early in the season and the Xfinity Series championship will be decided with a Chase format for the first time in 2016, Suarez continues to show he's a driver to watch.
"It's too early, we're just three races into the season and with the new Chase format anything can happen," Suarez told reporters, via NASCAR.com. "You need to win a race to be safe and lock yourself into the Chase."
"We have to keep working because someone else out there is still faster than us. And it's good because it's our teammate (Kyle Busch) and we know he has the same stuff that we do. We need to keep working to be consistent ... we need to keep working to get more speed and try to win a race to be more comfortable."
Next up in the Xfinity Series: Phoenix on March 12 and Fontana, Calif., on March 19 as NASCAR completes its swing through western states.Read more at sportingnews.com.