NASCAR recently announced that it will bring its Mexico Series to Phoenix in March next year in conjunction with the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and K&N West Series.
The motorsports series will be making its U.S. debut at the Phoenix International Raceway on March 1, also showcasing Mexican V8 stock cars.
"Mexico has a long and rich motorsports heritage but not necessarily in stock car racing," George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of regional and touring series, said recently. "The whole Mexican motorsports culture has followed either open-wheel racing or sports car racing. Brian made it very clear that a strategic goal of his was to reach a growing fan base and connect with Mexican-American fans here in the states."
Silbermann added that it was a seed that was planted in 2005 and it has now grown into a tree.
Officials from NASCAR and PIR scheduled a new conference in Phoenix to announce the NASCAR Mexico Series location and give details on the event, which will be a 75-lap race with a scheduled break after 50 laps for pit stops.
The Mexico Series was launched in 2004 under the name of Desafio Corona. NASCAR acquired the popular series in 2007 and renamed it the NASCAR Corona Series, later becoming the NASCAR Toyota Series.
"This is an important race for making the connection on both sides of the border," Silbermann said. "From a business standpoint, a lot of the series sponsors and partners see the value of a race in the U.S., and everyone sees the value in building the sport among Spanish speaking audiences. We believe the race will shine a spotlight and be a pleasant eye-opener for fans when they see the high caliber of talent in that series."
The race at the Phoenix International Raceway is a one-year agreement with NASCAR, but Silberman believes this the beginning of a long-term partnership for the popular motorsport that will increase the performance of the industry.
According to sources, NASCAR is also close to finalizing a new deal with Fox for the first half of the Sprint Cup series, but a deal for the second half wouldn't be discussed until next summer at the earliest.