Carlos Contreras Joins ESPN Deportes'
Carlos Contreras, the first Hispanic driver in NASCAR, has joined ESPN Deportes’ experienced team of hosts, analysts and reporters for ESPN Deportes’ coverage of the 2007 NASCAR season. Contreras will serve as analyst for numerous races, joining analyst Alex Pombo and play-by-play commentator Andrés Agulla in the booth. He will make his first appearance on ESPN Deportes’ flag-to-flag coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series: Stater Bros 300 Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET, live from the California Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
“We are excited to have Carlos on our team,” said Chris Calcinari, vice president of production and operations, ESPN Deportes. “Carlos will bring real world insight, experience, and inside information to our productions, and his on-the-track experience will be a tremendous asset for our NASCAR telecasts. For the first time in the history of Spanish-language television fans will be able to follow NASCAR action in Spanish and we have assembled the most knowledgeable team to offer top-notch coverage.”
“I am happy to be joining ESPN Deportes’ NASCAR team,” said Contreras. “While my main goal is racing and I continue to look for sponsorship to stay on the race track this is a great opportunity for me. I can work together with ESPN Deportes and NASCAR to help grow the popularity of the sport in the Hispanic community. That has always been a priority for me. I look forward to using my NASCAR experience to add a driver’s perspective to ESPN Deportes’ telecasts and hope this is the beginning of a long relationship with the network.”
Contreras, an eight-time Mexican racing champion, has 84 career starts in NASCAR’s top series, including 70 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and 14 in the NASCAR Busch Series, the most of any Hispanic driver. Contreras made his NASCAR debut by qualifying 7th and finishing 14th in the season finale NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the California Speedway in 1999. He ran the full Truck Series season in 2000 and was runner-up in the Rookie of the Year standings to future NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Kurt Busch.
After three seasons in the Truck Series, Contreras made his debut in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003. In 2005 Contreras joined FitzBradshaw Racing, piloting entries for the team at Watkins Glen, Fontana, Kansas, Phoenix, Miami and the inaugural Busch Series race in Mexico City. Contreras finished a Busch series career best of 11th at the 2006 Mexico City race, leading all Hispanic drivers.
Contreras also took on the role of team owner with Busch Series owner Armando Fitz in creating FitzContreras Racing in NASCAR’s Busch East and NASCAR Mexico series. FitzContreras Racing went on to win its first race in its inaugural season and also took home Rookie of the Year honors with driver Ruben Pardo.
In addition to his duties with ESPN Deportes, this 2007 season Contreras is slated to run several Busch series races for Armando Fitz and Fitz Motorsports, beginning with Mexico City on March 4th.