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(Reuters) - Mexico's Daniel Suarez became NASCAR's first foreign-born champion on Saturday by winning the season-long Xfinity Series.
The 24-year-old won the final race of the season at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in south Florida to clinch the overall title.
"I'm just very proud of everyone and thankful to have the family that I have," Suarez said after clinching the title in front of his parents.
"My mom, my dad, they gave me all the tools to be here right now. They put me in a car even when we didn't have the support or the racing background. They supported me and right now we are just living a dream.
"It's still hard to believe this."
Suarez was born in Monterrey and started racing carts before moving to North Carolina as a teenager to pursue his career.
The Xfinity Series is a secondary competition on the stock car circuit below the main NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford