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Coming to America: Every Foreign-Born NASCAR Winner

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What’s Happening?

Daniel Suarez, NASCAR’s first Mexican-born Cup Series race winner, is now officially a U.S. citizen, taking the oath in a ceremony attended by many, including NASCAR President Steve Phelps. NASCAR is where many drivers come Stateside to pursue a dream, but only a few have won a race. These are all foreign-born NASCAR drivers who have won a Cup Series race.

  • For this list, we will consider any NASCAR National Touring Series race winner who was not born in the United States. This is not a Cup-specific list.
  • While NASCAR is predominantly a North American motorsport, it has attracted some incredible talents worldwide, These drivers have made an incredible impact on the sport.
  • Fans are always curious to see how foreign-born drivers perform in NASCAR. It’s often an opportunity for fans to see how NASCAR drivers compare to drivers worldwide.

*Active Driver

Marcos Ambrose – Australia (7 Wins)

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Marcos Ambrose has the most wins of any foreign-born NASCAR driver, all of which came on road courses. His most successful track was Watkins Glen, where he won four Xfinity Series and two Cup Series races. He was the first Australian Supercars driver to have had this kind of success in NASCAR.

*Daniel Suarez – Mexico (6 Wins)

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Daniel Suarez is the first driver from Mexico to win in NASCAR at any level. He became the first foreign-born driver to win a Championship when he won the Xfinity Series crown in 2016. He took home his first Cup Series win at Sonoma in 2022 before winning at Atlanta in 2024 in the third-closest finish in NASCAR history.

Ron Fellows – Canada (6 Wins)

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Ron Fellows was a road course ace in the lower series throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. He won an impressive six races in 40 starts across the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Xfinity Series. He never won a Cup Series race, finishing a best of second at Watkins Glen in 2004.

*Shane Van Gisbergen – Australia (3 Wins)

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Shane Van Gisbergen made his first career Cup Series start at the Chicago Street Race in 2023, and he won in that start. This inspired him to race in the U.S. full-time, and he won back-to-back road course races at Sonoma and Portland in the Xfinity Series. This is just the beginning of SVG in NASCAR.

Juan Pablo Montoya – Columbia (3 Wins)

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2000 Indianapolis 500 winner and former Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya moved to NASCAR full-time in 2007. While he never won on an oval, he took home three road course wins and finished in the top 10 in points in 2009.

Nelson Piquet Jr. – Brazil (3 Wins)

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Nelson Piquet Jr., the son of three-time Formula One World Champion Nelson Piquet, enjoyed some brief NASCAR success in the 2010s. His best season came in 2012 when he won two Craftsman Truck Series races and one Xfinity Series race. After a lackluster Xfinity Series season in 2013, Piquet Jr. slowly faded out of NASCAR.

*Stewart Friesen – Canada (3 Wins, ALL Trucks)

Canadian Stewart Friesen has become a stalwart of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. His first career win came at Eldora in 2019, followed by wins at Phoenix later that year and Texas in 2022. He still competes full-time to this day.

Mario Andretti – Italy (1 Cup Win)

While Andretti is a naturalized U.S. citizen who spent most of his adult life living in the United States, he was born in Italy in 1940. He made most of his career in open-wheel series, but he had one shining moment in NASCAR. This came in 1967 when he won the Daytona 500 in a stunning upset.

Earl Ross – Canada (1 Cup Win)

Earl Ross became the first and so far only Canadian to win a Cup Series race in 1974. He beat out NASCAR Hall of Famers Cale Yarborough and Buddy Baker for the win. He never made more than one start in a season after 1974.

Larry Pollard – Canada (1 Xfinity Win)

After spending time as a crew chief for Richard Petty and Benny Parsons, Larry Pollard found victory lane in 1987. He won the Busch 200 at Langley Field Speedway in Hampton, Virginia. He went on to finish 13th in the standings that season.

Raphael Lessard – Canada (1 Truck Win)

Raphael Lessard became the newest Canadian to win a NASCAR National Touring Series race by winning at Talladega in 2020. He snaked through a last-lap crash to win the race, leading only one lap on the day.

Who is your favorite foreign-born NASCAR driver? Let us know on Discord or X, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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