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Pictured from left to right in front of the pace car are NASCAR Mexico driver Jorge Goeters, NASCAR Mexico car owner and driver Hugo Oliveras, two-time World Champion boxer Fernando Vargas and NASCAR Mexico driver Daniel Suarez, who is the current points leader in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

The NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series will make it's United States debut at a March 1 race at Phoenix International Raceway, the organization announced Tuesday.

The race is part of the Subway Fresh Fit NASCAR Sprint Series Weekend at the track.

Arizona-Mexico Commission President Larry Lucero said the event will bring big bucks to the Valley.

"With the two annual races that you already conduct here, the economic impact is nearly a half-billion dollars," said Lucero. "This is not small potatoes."

Arizona Congressman Ed Pastor said hopes the race will improve relations between Arizona and Mexico that have deteriorated because of Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070.

"We do not have the best image in this state," Pastor said. "Hopefully, the people of Arizona will not only welcome the Mexican drivers and their teams, but also the sports fans that will bring their pesos to the west Valley and also into central Phoenix."

Two-time World Champion boxer Fernando Vargas will drive the pace car for the race and said he is excited.

"Never in my life have I ever driven a pace car, but do you want to bet that I'm going to drive the hell out of this one!" Vargas told a laughing crowd at Phoenix' Royal Palms Resort.

The race will be televised in the United States, Mexico, and Latin America.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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