News Americas, Sonoma, CA, Mon. June 24, 2013: A 37-year-old Puerto Rican national made history at Nascar’s Sonoma Raceway Sunday by becoming only the first Caribbean-born racer to drive a stock car in an official Sprint Cup race.
Victor Gonzalez, Jr. drove the #36 Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway but crashed on his qualifying lap, leading to a 42nd-place start and a backup car. He then suffered damage on a Lap 71 restart.
Still the race was historic for Gonzalez, Jr., who has been racing as long as he can remember and on anything he could find that had a steering wheel. But, short of money, he had to do some overtime trying to raise funds for his passion.
Thanks to sponsor PhoneDaddy.com, he made his mark at NASCAR and possibly opened up a huge other fan base for the sport.
Gonzalez, Jr. previously made history in 2009 when he was the first Caribbean driver to compete in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event, finishing 14th in his debut in the 2009 running of the NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada. Gonzalez Jr. returned to the Nationwide Series for four races in 2010, making his oval track debut at Phoenix International Raceway. In 2012, Gonzalez raced in the Nationwide Series at Road America and at Watkins Glen International.
In addition to his NASCAR experience, Gonzalez won over 30 races and multiple championships in various road racing classes internationally, and 2012 won the national championship in his new naturalized home of the Dominican Republic.