NASCAR Peak Mexico Series

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Ruben Garcia Jr. part of driver exchange between NASCAR Euro and Mexico Series

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Not long after he competes in the K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend, Ruben Garcia Jr. will board a plane for Spain.

Waiting for Garcia will be the first part of a driver exchange program between NASCAR’s European and Mexico racing series.

The defending champion in the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, Garcia will take part in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ season-opening races April 13-14 at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. On Nov. 30-Dec. 1, the Euro Series champion will return the favor by competing in the Mexico series finale in Mexico City.

All the races will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Youtube Channel and Facebook page and on Motorsport.tv.

(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The races in Valenica will be Garcia’s first in Europe, but Spain will “feel like home” for the him after frequent holiday trips there to visit friends.

“It was great news for me because for the last couple of years I’ve been trying to put something together to go run in the Euro NASCAR because that’s a series that’s been growing a lot and really got my interest,” Garcia said Wednesday during a teleconference. “Even though I’m very, very far from home or the United States and where I’m living now, it’ll still feel like home cause they speak my native language there and it’s a country I enjoy travelling to.”

Garcia’s Euro Series start will come in the ELITE 1 Division driving the No. 1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry. Though Garcia will only have three practices sessions to get used to his car and the 14-turn track, he thinks his history with road courses in the Mexico and K&N Series will help.

But Garcia is aware of some of the more intrinsic differences in series.

“The cars are similar to what we race in Mexico,” Garcia said. “So on that part I don’t think it will be as challenging. … Since they have more of the European style of racing, the FIA style of racing. … It’s different than what we do here in Mexico and the United States. They really don’t have contact. Their battles are strong, but they’re very, very respectful. That’s something I might need to get used to, no contact at all. They’re very good road course racers.”

The Euro series has garnered its share of attention in the last two years, with former Cup champion Bobby Labonte competing full-time in the series last year. He’ll be followed this season by former Indianapolis 500 winner and Formula 1 champion Jacques Villeneuve.

“I can tell you what got my attention,” Garcia said of the Euro Series. “They’re getting a lot of new cars, they’re getting a lot of new sponsors and that’s always a good sign for a series. If that’s happening it’s because they’re doing something right. As a driver you always want to try new things and get new challenges.

“They go to some really cool places and really cool tracks. … That’s something that really got my attention, they go to some Formula 1 race tracks. Some great facilities, some great road courses that when I was really little I dreamed of racing (at).”

Garcia said he’ll try to tap into the knowledge of three-time Euro Series champion Ander Vilariño and defending champion Alon Day, both drivers he has relationships with.

As a two-time Mexico Series champion, Garcia is excited for the driver swap as an opportunity to show off the series’ talent.

“There’s a great level (of competition) in the Mexico as well as the NASCAR Euro Series,” Garcia said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for both series to show how good they are and how good the NASCAR Mexico drivers can do outside their country. Even though we’re racing against road course specialists, we’ll still`perform really good.”

Season is almost here: The 2017 schedules for NASCAR’s top series

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Each day gets you closer to when the roar of engines return in NASCAR.

To get you ready, here are the schedules for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series, K&N Pro Series East and K&N Pro Series West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series all in one place.

Start times and TV networks are included for the Cup, Xfinity and Truck schedules to further help in your planning for the upcoming season.

Here is the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule:

2/18 Daytona International Speedway (The Clash) – 8 p.m. ET (FS1)
2/23 Daytona International Speedway (The Duels) – 7 p.m. ET (FS1)
2/26 Daytona 500 – 2 p.m. ET (FOX)
3/5 Atlanta Motor Speedway – 2:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
3/12 Las Vegas Motor Speedway – 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
3/19 Phoenix International Raceway – 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
3/26 Auto Club Speedway – 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
4/2 Martinsville Speedway – 2 p.m. ET (FS1)
4/9 Texas Motor Speedway – 1:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
4/23 Bristol Motor Speedway – 2 p.m. ET (FOX)
4/30 Richmond International Raceway – 2 p.m. ET (FOX)
5/7 Talladega Superspeedway – 2 p.m. ET (FOX)
5/13 Kansas Speedway – 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
5/20 Charlotte Motor Speedway (All-Star Race) – 6 p.m. ET (FS1)
5/28 Charlotte Motor Speedway – 6 p.m. ET (FOX)
6/4 Dover International Speedway – 1 p.m. ET (FS1)
6/11 Pocono Raceway – 3 p.m. (FS1)
6/18 Michigan International Speedway – 3 p.m. ET (FS1)
6/25 Sonoma Raceway – 3 p.m. ET (FS1)
7/1 Daytona International Speedway – 7:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
7/8 Kentucky Speedway – 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
7/16 New Hampshire Motor Speedway – 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
7/23 Indianapolis Motor Speedway – 3 p.m. ET (NBC)
7/30 Pocono Raceway – 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
8/6 Watkins Glen International – 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
8/13 Michigan International Speedway – 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway – 7:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
9/3 Darlington Raceway – 6 p.m. ET (NBSCN)
9/9 Richmond International Raceway – 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
9/17 Chicagoland Speedway – 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
9/24 New Hampshire Motor Speedway – 2 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
10/1 Dover International Speedway – 2 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
10/7 Charlotte Motor Speedway – 7 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
10/15 Talladega Superspeedway – 2 p.m. ET (NBC)
10/22 Kansas Speedway – 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
10/29 Martinsville Speedway – 1 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
11/5 Texas Motor Speedway – 2 p.m. ET (NBC)
11/12 Phoenix International Raceway – 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
11/19 Homestead-Miami Speedway – 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

Here is the 2017 Xfinity Series schedule:

2/25 Daytona International Speedway – 3:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
3/4 Atlanta Motor Speedway – 1:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
3/11 Las Vegas Motor Speedway – 4 p.m. ET (FS1)
3/18 Phoenix International Raceway – 4 p.m. ET (FOX)
3/25 Auto Club Speedway – 4 p.m. ET (FS1)
4/8 Texas Motor Speedway – 1:30 p.m. (FOX)
4/22 Bristol Motor Speedway – 12:30 p.m. (FS1)
4/29 Richmond International Raceway – 12:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
5/6 Talladega Superspeedway – 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
5/27 Charlotte Motor Speedway – 1 p.m. ET (FS1)
6/3 Dover International Speedway – 1 p.m. ET (FS1)
6/10 Pocono Raceway – 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
6/17 Michigan International Speedway – 1:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
6/24 Iowa Speedway – 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
6/30 Daytona International Speedway – 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
7/7 Kentucky Speedway – 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway – 4 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
7/22 Indianapolis Motor Speedway – 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
7/29 Iowa Speedway – 3:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
8/5 Watkins Glen International – 2 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
8/12 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
8/18 Bristol Motor Speedway – 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
8/27 Road America – 3 p.m. ET (NBC)
9/2 Darlington Raceway – 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
9/8 Richmond International Raceway – 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
9/16 Chicagoland Speedway – 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
9/23 Kentucky Speedway – 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
9/30 Dover International Speedway – 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
10/6 Charlotte Motor Speedway – 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
10/21 Kansas Speedway – 3 p.m. ET (NBC)
11/4 Texas Motor Speedway – 8:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
11/11 Phoenix International Raceway – 3:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
11/18 Homestead-Miami Speedway – 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

Here is the 2017 Camping World Truck schedule (all races broadcast on Fox Sports 1 unless otherwise noted):

2/24 Daytona International Speedway – 7:30 p.m. ET
3/4 Atlanta Motor Speedway – 4:30 p.m. ET
4/1 Martinsville Speedway – 2:30 p.m. ET
5/12 Kansas Speedway – 8:30 p.m. ET
5/19 Charlotte Motor Speedway – 8:30 p.m. ET
6/2 Dover International Speedway – 5:30 p.m. ET
6/9 Texas Motor Speedway – 8 p.m. ET
6/17 Gateway Motorsports Park – 8:30 p.m. ET
6/23 Iowa Speedway – 8:30 p.m. ET
7/6 Kentucky Speedway – 7:30 p.m. ET
7/19 Eldora Speedway – 9 p.m. ET
7/29 Pocono Raceway – 1 p.m. ET
8/12 Michigan International Speedway – 1 p.m. ET
8/16 Bristol Motor Speedway – 8:30 p.m. ET
8/27 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – 2:30 p.m. ET
9/15 Chicagoland Speedway – 8:30 p.m. ET
9/23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway – 1 p.m. ET
9/30 Las Vegas Motor Speedway – 8:30 p.m. ET
10/14 Talladega Superspeedway – 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
10/28 Martinsville Speedway – 1:30 p.m. ET
11/3 Texas Motor Speedway – 8:30 p.m. ET
11/10 Phoenix International Raceway – 8:30 p.m. ET
11/17 Homestead-Miami Speedway – 8 p.m. ET

Here is the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Series schedule (TV dates and times on NBCSN to be announced at a later date):

2/19 New Smyrna Speedway
4/8 Greenville Pickens Speedway
4/22 Bristol Motor Speedway
5/6 South Boston Speedway 1
5/6 South Boston Speedway 2
6/3 Memphis International Raceway
7/1 Berlin Raceway
7/8 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
7/28 Iowa Speedway
8/4 Watkins Glen International
9/2 TBA
9/16 New Jersey Motorsports Park
9/29 Dover International Speedway

Here is the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Series schedule (TV dates and times on NBCSN to be announced at a later date):

3/18 Tucson Speedway
3/23 Kern County Raceway Park
3/25 Irwindale Speedway 1
3/25 Irwindale Speedway 2
5/13 Spokane County Raceway
5/20 Orange Show Speedway
6/10 Colorado National Speedway
6/24 Sonoma Raceway
7/28 Iowa Speedway
8/12 Evergreen Speedway
8/26 Douglas County Speedway
9/30 Meridian Speedway
10/14 All American Speedway
11/4 Kern County Raceway Park

Here is the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified schedule (Select events will be broadcast on NBCSN. Those events will be announced at a later time):

3/18

Myrtle Beach Speedway

Myrtle Beach, S.C.

4/2

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Thompson, Conn.

4/30

Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford, Conn.

5/13

TBA

TBA (southern race track)

6/14

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Thompson, Conn.

6/24

Riverhead Raceway

Riverhead, N.Y.

7/14

New Hampshire Motor Speedway*

Loudon, N.H.

7/15

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, N.H.

7/22

New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Waterford, Conn.

8/4

Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford, Conn.

8/9

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Thompson, Conn.

8/16

Bristol Motor Speedway

Bristol, Tenn.

8/26

Seekonk Speedway

Seekonk, Mass.

9/2

Oswego Speedway

Oswego, N.Y.

9/16

Riverhead Raceway

Riverhead, N.Y.

9/23

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, N.H.

10/1

Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford, Conn.

10/5

Charlotte Motor Speedway*

Concord, N.C.

10/15

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Thompson, Conn.

Here is the 2017 NASCAR Peak Mexico Series schedule:

Date

Track

Location

3/26

Autódromo Monterrey

Monterrey

4/23

Autódromo Potosino

San Luis Potosí

5/14

Autódromo Miguel E. Abed

Puebla

6/4

Autódromo Internacional Bernardo Obregón

Guadalajara

6/25

Autódromo de León

León

7/16

Autódromo Internacional de Aguascalientes

Aguascalientes

8/6

Autódromo Potosino / Autodromo Moisés Solana

San Luis Potosí / Pachuca

8/20

Autódromo del Ecocentro de la Unión Ganadera

Querétaro

9/10

Autódromo Internacional Bernardo Obregón

Guadalaraja

10/1

Súper Óvalo Chiapas

Tuxtla Gutiérrez

10/15

Autódromo Miguel E. Abed

Puebla

11/12

Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

México City

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NASCAR announces continuation of Mexico Series with new series sponsor

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NASCAR announced Tuesday night the continuation of its Mexico Series and that Peak will be the series sponsor.

The NASCAR Peak Mexico Series will make its return with an exhibition event Dec. 3-4 in Mexico City. The series will officially get underway in 2017 with a full schedule to be announced later. Ruben Garcia Jr. won the 2015 series title, the most recent season the series completed.

“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,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, in a statement. “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.”

Xfinity Series driver Daniel Suarez, who competed in the Peak Mexico Series previously, is excited to see the series continue.

“I am extremely proud to be a Mexican driver competing against the best young drivers making a name for themselves in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” he said in a statement. “I am lucky to have had the support of NASCAR’s developmental programs along the way – including the NASCAR Mexico Series. I am excited to see that other talented Latin American drivers will continue to have similar opportunities for many years to come.”