NASCAR’s Daniel Suarez, from Mexico, becomes American citizen: ‘I did it my way’

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NASCAR’s Daniel Suarez, from Mexico, becomes American citizen: ‘I did it my way’

NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez is now an American citizen.

Suarez, from Mexico, took the oath at the field office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It wasn’t just the nearly 50 people becoming citizens there for the special day – even NASCAR president Steve Phelps was there, along with members of the rackhouse Racing team, as well as his fiancee.

All of that took Suarez by surprise.

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NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez waves an American flag during a naturalization ceremony, June 18, 2024, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Noah Watts/Daylon Barr Photography, Trackhouse Racing via AP)

“The most special part of everything was, you see so many people there,” Suarez said Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “I was not expecting it. I was not expecting to see so many people.”

“I didn’t think many people were going to really care about it,” Suarez said. “A lot of people really did.”

Suarez’s parents had actually thought about traveling to the United States for his birth, but it wound up being too expensive.

“It’s really funny how my parents, they had that thought before I was born, about being born in the United States, I guess to have more opportunities. They didn’t do it,” he said. “And now, I guess I did it my way.”

Daniel Suarez taking oath

NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez stands for the “oath of allegiance” during a naturalization ceremony, June 18, 2024, in Charlotte. (Noah Watts/Daylon Barr Photography, Trackhouse Racing via AP)

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Suarez admitted that becoming a citizen wasn’t originally a thought.

“It wasn’t a dream of mine,” Suarez said. “I came to this country to race and compete. I had been working really hard to try and go to the next step and be more competitive. In a blink of an eye, I’ve been already here 12 years.”

He learned, and dedicated himself to, the process of becoming a citizen about six years ago – his team even quizzed him in April in Dover ahead of his citizenship test.

“I felt like it was the right time to start this process. Slowly, I’m getting more and more responsibilities in my life. It was the right time to feel more secure; that I belong here.” 

Daniel Suarez pre-race

Daniel Suarez walks the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 8, 2024, in California. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

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Suarez has two career Cup wins – including the closest finish ever at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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