Published March 01, 2013
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Abraham Calderon picked a good night to get his first career NASCAR victory.
The 24-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico, dominated the Toyota 120 at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night.
The NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series race marked the first time one of NASCAR's international series raced in the United States.
Antonio Perez finished second, followed by 17-year-old Ruben Garcia Jr. Garcia was the series' 2012 rookie of the year.
Defending series champion Jorge Goeters won the pole award earlier in the day, but contact among the leaders on the first lap knocked him out of contention.
Calderon, who qualified fifth, passed Homero Richards for the lead on Lap 14 and led the rest of the way. He was making his 81st series start.
Ruben Pardo finished fourth and Homero Richards was fifth. Carlos Peralta, Patrick Goeters, Irwin Vences, Jorge Goeters and Hugo Oliveras rounded out the top 10.
The 75-lap race was a unique format for the series, running the first 50 laps before a break and then a sprint to the finish. The race also had an extended red flag to fix a SAFER barrier after a single car spin. A majority of the series races are longer formats.
The race was the first of 15 points races of the 2013 season for the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, which is in its seventh season under the NASCAR banner.