As someone who used to race in the NASCAR Mexico Series, not many Americans heard of the name German Quiroga before Kyle Busch Motorsports signed him on as a part-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver two years ago.
After running mildly well, Quiroga earned a full-time gig in NASCAR’s third tier series with one of the top teams, Red Horse Racing. In the past, Quiroga has been sponsored primarily by Telcel, but for the past two years, he’s had support from Net 10 Wireless. The support which his sponsor has given him has enabled the 33-year old Mexico City, Mexico native to run competitively in NASCAR.
Quiroga won three consecutive NASCAR Mexico Series titles from 2009-11 and dominated the series. In the past, he even made a run at a career in the IZOD INDY Car Series back in 2005, but didn’t do too well in an INDY Lights race. Though he never impressed many people in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Quiroga is doing so now. He’s on a team that has manufacturer backing and has visited victory lane seven times since 2010.
Throughout the 2013 season, Quiroga has had his ups and downs. The short tracks seem to have been his strength as he’s run well there. However, it’s taking him a little while to gain experience on intermediate tracks. He was able to make history on Friday evening at the Texas Motor Speedway though. Quiroga finished third in the Winstar World Casino 400, which was the highest finish by a Mexican-born driver in NASCAR history. Though Quiroga isn’t the first Mexican-born driver to finish inside of the top-five in a NASCAR sanctioned race (which was Pedro Rodriguez in 1965 at Charlotte in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race), his finish proved that he’s going to be contending for wins rather soon.
Quiroga was able to out-run some of the most competitive trucks throughout the weekend, including race favorite, Brendan Gaughan, who led 44 laps. The third place finish was the first time Quiroga finished inside of the top-five in his young NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. If he were to win a race, it could probably catch more international attention to the sport than when Miguel Paludo made his debut in NASCAR. Fans originally didn’t agree for Kyle Busch Motorsports to hire Quiroga, especially after he kept wrecking trucks left and right. However, now fans realize that if he’s given good equipment and he stays out of trouble, he can very well contend with some of the best in the business.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.