NASCAR Mexico's "Three-Time" Set to Make Second Career Truck Series Start
By winning three of the last four NASCAR Mexico Series races, Germán Quiroga has already put the finishing touches on his third consecutive championship with one race remaining on the 14-race schedule. Quiroga will be looking to parlay his recent success south of the border into a strong run in Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The Mexico City native will be making his second career Truck Series start behind the wheel of the No. 51 Telcel Tundra. Quiroga brought home a respectable 16th-place finish in his Truck Series debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.
In addition to three wins this season in the NASCAR Mexico Series, the 31-year-old driver propelled himself to a championship behind the strength of 10 top-five finishes. Prior to winning three consecutive titles, Quiroga finished second in points in both 2007 and 2008.
Quiroga's 17 career wins rank second on the all-time NASCAR Mexico Series list behind Rogelio Lopez's 20. Over 94 career starts, he has captured eight poles, 61 top fives and 74 top 10s.
Germán Quiroga, Driver of the No. 51 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Telcel Tundra:
How big of an honor is winning three consecutive NASCAR Mexico Series championships?
I think more important, is to show the team work and communication we have created. It's all about working hard and always having a bigger goal to reach.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in making the transition from the cars that you run in the NASCAR Mexico Series to the trucks?
Getting used to the radial tires, the weight of the truck, and how important the down force is to the truck. It was very difficult to pass trucks during the race, but I think that I will get used to after a couple of races.
Since making your debut in September, have you continued to follow the Truck Series?
Even before I made my debut, I always watch every Truck Series race on television. If I can't be in the truck, at least I will try to learn from watching the broadcast. I also went to the Truck Series race in Las Vegas and watched and listened to the team communicate on the radio to try and learn even more.
Do you have any experience on any tracks bigger than a one-mile oval?
I raced at Nashville Superspeedway in the East Series in 2007 and practiced at Kentucky Speedway in order to make the Futaba 100 Infiniti Pro Series race at Indianapolis Speedway in 2005.
Have you set any goals for the race at Homestead-Miami?
Knowing that I already have a little more experience in the truck, I will try to qualify in the top ten. I'm sure that can help me in the race and even try to finish in the top 5. This series is very competitive and I have a lot of respect for it.
Rick Ren, Crew Chief of the No. 51 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Telcel Tundra:
What impressed you the most about Germán at New Hampshire?
His thought process was pretty impressive. The way he thinks about things and describes things -- he puts a lot of thought into what he is going to say before he gives you feedback. I believe that comes from being an experienced race car driver. If you look at his track record the last five years, he has two runner-ups and three championships in Mexico, so he looks at things a little bit different than your average driver. The racing in the Truck Series may be a little bit different than what he is used to, but the thought process it takes to be a champion is the same.
What will be Germán's biggest challenge at Homestead-Miami?
He has probably never raced on a progressive banked race track like Homestead. It will be a little different at first, but he is a guy that drives race cars for a living and wins championships in Mexico, so he will still go through the same thought process on how to attack the race track. When we were at New Hampshire, he never once talked about being loose in. When you go to the next size race track, the biggest concern as a crew chief is if the driver is loose getting into the corner. If we don't hear him saying that he is loose in this weekend, I think we'll be fine.
What is the key to getting around Homestead-Miami Speedway?
I think that the biggest thing a driver needs to do at Homestead is not to apex the turn too early because it's a race track that tends to drive tight off the corners. You need to be able to have the self-restraint to wait that extra second in the middle of the corner before you get back to the gas. Just like we did at New Hampshire, we'll talk him through everything throughout the day. He did a great job of getting on and off pit road the first race, but we'll be sure to remind him that it's a little trickier getting on pit road with the increased speeds on a faster track. We'll make sure that he practices his pit road entry a few times during practice.