On Tuesday, NASCAR announced that Old World Industries’ PEAK brand will serve as the new title sponsor for the NASCAR Mexico Series, starting in 2017. The NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series will race in 2017 on a suite of ovals and road courses in a schedule that will be announced at a later date. Prior to that, there will be an exhibition race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City in December.
For NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell, having the PEAK Mexico Series in operation is crucial.
“The NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series is a place where young drivers are honing their skills and competing for a championship against the toughest competition in Latin America,” O’Donnell stated during an event at the InterContinental Presidente Hotel in Mexico City. “The series drives interest in stock car racing in Mexico, while cultivating talented drivers and pit crew members aspiring to compete at the NASCAR national series level.”
The series returns after taking the 2016 season off. The series’ last champion, Ruben Garcia, Jr., competed full-time in the K&N Pro Series East for Rev Racing this year. He finished tenth in points with one top 5 (a fifth in the season finale at Dover) and six top 10 finishes.
Arguably the series’ most notable graduate is Daniel Suarez, who currently races full-time in the XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. He has two victories this year and is currently tied for the XFINITY Series points lead with Elliott Sadler. Another notable graduate is German Quiroga, who is a three-time series champion (2009-2011) who then moved up to the Camping World Truck Series.
Suarez is very happy that NASCAR’s Mexican division will be back up and running next year.
“Without (the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series), I wouldn’t be here right now,” Suarez stated. “Really, road course racing in Mexico has been popular for many years, but in the last 10 years, with the NASCAR Mexico Series, a lot of drivers have had the opportunity to choose a different path, to choose stock car racing. I was one of those drivers and it felt like the right decision. Because of that, I was able to learn everything, how to race on ovals, how to race in a stock car. After that, I got my first opportunity in the U.S.”
For PEAK, sponsorship in NASCAR is nothing new. PEAK’s time in NASCAR dates back to at least 1988. Back then, PEAK served as the primary sponsor for then-20 year old Rob Moroso when he made his Cup Series debut at Charlotte. That was followed by a partial season sponsoring Kyle Petty at SaBCo Racing in 1989 and a full season in 1990.
More recently, PEAK has served as a primary sponsor on Clint Bowyer‘s No. 15 in the Sprint Cup Series for a couple of races a year. PEAK’s BlueDEF also served as the primary sponsor of a part-time entry for Michael Waltrip in 2014. PEAK also currently serves as the title sponsor of the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series Powered by iracing.com, a 16-race series pitting the best sim racers against each other in Sprint Cup cars in the game.