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TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Mexico – Patience and perserverance paid off for José Luis Ramírez. In a race that had two red flags for multi-car wrecks, the Mexico City native was able to avoid trouble in the Tuxtla 240, including a late charge by Antonio Pérez, and claim his second NASCAR Toyota Series victory on Sunday at the Súper Óvalo Chiapas.
|1||José Luis Ramírez|
Pérez took charge of the race late and looked poised to win his second event of the season, before Ramírez overtook him in the closing laps. As the white flag fell, both drivers were separated by less than a car length. As they made their way around the backstretch of the .75-mile D-shaped oval, Pérez slipped underneath and was in position to reclaim the lead heading into the final turns, but Ramírez was able to hold his position long enough to claim the checkered flag. It was his first win of the season and his first trip to Victory Lane 2010, also in Chiapas.
"It was a great day and a great win for Ramírez Racing and Telmex," Ramírez said. "This win helps move us up in the standings. I think we're in fifth or sixth place now, and the goal, now, is to finish in the top three. Mexico City is next, and it's a race where you have to put it all on the line during the final 50 laps and go for the win."
Pérez was forced to settle for second, his 35th career top three finish. It was a positive result for the Guadalajara, Mexico native after mechanical failures ended his last two events early.
"It's a great finish for the Telmex team," Pérez said. "After two rough outings in which we suffered mechanical failures, it was great to come out here and see the team within the top three finishers. My goal is still to win the championship and, unfortunately, it's not all in my hands, but anything is possible and I'll go out there in Mexico City and do my best."
Irwin Vences crossed the finish line next, followed by Patrick Goeters and Hugo Oliveras.
Rubén Pardo, Elliot Van Rankin, Homero Richards, Pepe Montaño, and Rubén Garcia Jr. completed the top 10.
Pole winner Daniel Suárez, who made contact with the turn one wall after his qualifying lap, entered the weekend three points behind Rodrigo Peralta. Suárez led the field to green and would hold on to the top spot for the majority of the first 55 laps, before he was forced to pit road with mechanical issues. He would return to the track, 18 laps behind the leaders, and finished 24th.
Peralta also shared time in the top spot, only to fall back after getting caught up in one of the multi-car pile-ups. His 11th place finish was enough to increase his lead over Suárez to 15 points heading into the season finale at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on November 10. Peralta has two top 10 finishes in Mexico City this season.