My Interview with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver German Quiroga

Right now my guess is many of you are saying to yourselves, who is German Quiroga? Well, I hope to change that!

I call this an interview, but in actuality it really wasn’t one. It quickly felt more like I was chatting with a friend than interviewing a driver. It quickly became clear that Quiroga is someone special and I hope after reading this you feel the same way as I do.

Quiroga was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1980. He began his racing career at age 15 in the Retro Neon Series and went on to claim Rookie of the Year in 1996, followed by the Championship in 1998. Quiroga claimed the Formula Renault 2000 championship alongside Rookie of the Year honors. He then started racing in the NASCAR Mexico Series and went on to collect three consecutive championships from 2009-2011, the only driver in history to do so.

After his success in Mexico, he left everything behind, his family, his home, his friends, and his fame.

“It wasn’t easy,” he said, “but I committed a year and half ago myself to it. I wanted to get to a higher level. That’s how my dream started.”

He came to America to race in our NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and now drives the Red Horse Racing No. 77 Toyota Tundra. He made his debut in 2011 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, finishing 16th.

When Quiroga started in the sport there wasn’t a lot of diversity in drivers but Quiroga said that everybody was willing to be nice and helpful.

“The NASCAR Community, I think, and everyone has been very friendly and willing to help me, not just the drivers and teams but NASCAR as a company. I have a lot of opportunity for sure,” Quiroga told me.

In speaking of his first year in the sport, he also talked about the learning curve, stating, “the learning curve will keep on growing but we are past the rough part in the beginning.”

This past season, Quiroga finished 13th in points with two top fives and six top 10s, including a third at Pocono. The success this year has the driver feeling proud of his accomplishments.

“We had a decent year,” he explained, “achieved some very good things, as a Mexican driver, to accomplish a third place ever in a National Division in NASCAR. We also had a pole and a track record. Obviously I wanted to get my first win. Unfortunately that didn’t happen last year but with the changes we are making for next year I think we are going to be very strong.”

We also talked about the differences and how difficult it was coming from the NASCAR Corona Series to the NASCAR Camping World Truck series. I asked about any difficulty adjusting to the different type of vehicle.

“There is a lot of aero involved,” he said. “The first thing I noticed was the speed. In our ovals we would go maybe 160-165 mph average but here you jump to 200 mph average. It doesn’t seem like it would be a lot but when you are on the track you notice the difference.”

Quiroga also stated that the tires were a challenge because in Mexico they do not race radial tires. They run on normal tires.

“Getting to know the tracks was another challenge,” he continued. “Growing up I saw them on television but you don’t get the experience until you are there and for me, getting to know the tricks on gaining positions or passing someone; there is a lot to learn. I am excited to be a part of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. It’s a great series to learn. I want to do very well here and step up my career to the next level which is the NASCAR Nationwide Series, then hopefully lead to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.”

We talked awhile about his past championships in Mexico and his past season. He stated that he was trying too hard and felt that maybe could have hurt his season some. This year he plans on going back to what he knows and is familiar with, including running for wins but also for points so at the end he can contend for the championship. Focusing on this year I asked him the question that probably every driver gets asked, but being from Mexico I thought his answer would likely differ.

I asked him what the words Daytona 500 mean to you.

“You hear Daytona and it’s such a legendary track. 2013 was actually my first year there, my first thoughts are, I had been testing and gotten back to the hotel and turned on the television to watch the finish of the Daytona 500. I saw what happened to Dale Earnhardt Sr. I had watched the last 50 laps or so and I was very, very sad. Dale Earnhardt Sr. was a hero to me and unfortunately he died there.” He went on to say, “I like super speedways, the first super speedway I actually ran was Talladega in 2012 and then 2013 was my first race at Daytona.”

His first race at Daytona ended in a crash but he was thankful for the opportunity and Quiroga said he wished he had been racing back when Earnhardt Sr. drove. He was someone you could have learned a lot from.

I asked him what he thought his greatest or best moment to date was.

“I came to the United States with nothing so getting to know people and to keep on working to accomplish my dreams. I have two good sponsors, Otter Box and Net 10 Wireless, and having the opportunity to race the entire season. I want to pressure myself to achieve what I want.”

He talked further about needing to be physically fit for racing so he wants to get his strength up to get ready for the upcoming season.

“I had a challenge this year to run a marathon,” Quiroga said, “which is something I really don’t like to do is running, but I trained. Some days I was up at 4:00 a.m. and go running then go to work and race all day but it is something I am proud of.”

I put him a little on the spot by asking him where he thinks he may get his first win, which earned me a slight chuckle on his part. He did say though he really, really likes Pocono since he almost won there, but it’s too far along in the season.

“I did really well at Martinsville qualifying in the top ten and finishing in the top ten both races, he said.”I like mile and a half tracks like Texas as well. We had a third place finish there and I was very comfortable there. The only track I didn’t like was Homestead but after running well there too all the tracks are fun actually and wherever that first win comes will be great.”

My last question to him was this. When your racing career is done and it’s time to walk away, what kind of legacy do you want to leave either personally or professionally?

His answer was fairly simple, “I want to be well known in my country because of my achievements and how I represent the people of Mexico. My life has changed a lot. I have had struggles. I want to be the guy that achieves all of his dreams and worked very hard for them.”

I have to say that this has been one of the best interviews I have done to date. German Quiroga was one of the nicest, most down to earth drivers I have had the pleasure of talking to. He opened himself up to me and quite honestly has left an impression on me that will stay with me. I am proud that I had the opportunity to get to know him and hopefully you have too. He is so genuine and caring and deserves respect for leaving Mexico and chasing his dreams. I hope I am there when he accomplishes them.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Michelle Lippold
Michelle Lippold
I've grown up watching racing of some sort from midgets to Stock Cars since I was a child. I run the FB page Everything NASCAR but really want to explore my love of writing and racing together. I love both things so I decided to try combining them.


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