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DATE News (chronologically)
05/08/07
nascar
ISC Looking To Build A Speedway In Mexico?  NASCAR Busch East Series driver Rogelio Lopez III said his family has been in talks with International Speedway Corporation about building a 1.5-mile oval in his hometown of Aguascalientes, Mexico. Lopez believes more drivers in Mexico today are looking to NASCAR rather than open wheel divisions.

“Now open wheel in Mexico is done,” said Lopez, who was at New Hampshire International Speedway Monday for a Busch East Series open test session. [Editor's Note: We predicted Champ Car would see the Mexico market shrivel up and die once they let NASCAR into Mexico City. With that said, with a good percentage on the population living off the land, there is not enough money in Mexico to support a proper NASCAR program either.]

The 14-event NASCAR Mexico Series kicked off its season April 1 at Autódromo Miguel E. Abed in Puebla, Mexico.

“Right now what we are trying to do is build some oval tracks [in Mexico],” Lopez said. “That’s what we need. . . . My family and [ISC] were trying to build a track in Aguascalientes. I don’t know what was the problem. Right now they have the land and they are doing the things to build the track right now. I think they are going to wait to build it in [2009]."

Lopez, who became the first Mexican driver to make a start in the Busch East Series in 2005 has competed in a total of 10 races over the last two seasons. He will compete full-time this season for car owner Dave Davis. He finished fifth in the Busch East season opener April 28 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C.

“We need a Mexican star in the U.S. so we can grow up in Mexico,” Lopez said. “The fans are really excited about it. It was my goal when I started racing, my father really enjoyed NASCAR racing, I grew up with dreams about that.”

Lopez said his goal is to be competing in the Nextel Cup Series by 2009. But just as it is for his American counterparts on the track, finding sponsorship to make it happen is difficult. Lopez is currently sponsored by TelMex.

“In Mexico the problem we have is that there are few sponsors that can make my dream come true,” Lopez said. “We have to work a lot and get the results they want. TelMex is one of the biggest companies around the world. I know if we do right they’ll give us the support.” More at Courant.com

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