Puerto Rican turns his house into a NASCAR sanctuary | The USA Print

Puerto Rican turns his house into a NASCAR sanctuary

There’s the NASCAR fan. And then there is René Stella. The Puerto Rican living in East Orlando who has turned half of his house into a sanctuary for NASCAR and racing legend and number 24 Jeff Gordon.

La Prensa visited the interior of the private museum in his house where he has lived for 30 years. Since then he has assembled a motorsport collection that will impress any visitor. He started it from his homeland of Puerto Rico.

Sanctuary: There are hundreds of thousands of souvenirs, toys, and trinkets!

The family room, terrace, home office, bedroom, kitchen and even the bathroom. From chairs, tables, fans, bottles, cereal boxes, coffee makers, the list is endless. “I collect anything from NASCAR and specifically from the driver Gordon,” René commented.

René remembers that he had a racing car. “I was racing in Salinas and when I moved here I went to visit the Daytona track. What fascinated me was the smell of gasoline, that noise from the engines is an indescribable emotion, ”he said.

Since then his passion for NASCAR was born and he began his collection that is placed in every corner of the house. “Every time I go to the races I’m going to get a new item,” she said.

NASCAR Cup Series, is the main and best known. The cars in this series are highly modified stock car-type vehicles and are raced on a variety of tracks, including short ovals, intermediate ovals, and superspeedways. The most famous races in this series include the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.

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And this weekend, on August 25 and 26, the NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 returns to Daytona International Speedway. And René and his wife are more than willing to go.

At first his wife Mary was skeptical, but then she joined the “fever” and now buys items from him to add to her collection. One of her most valuable gifts is a Bible that NASCAR published.

René has four children and 12 grandchildren and is pastor of the Orlando Restoration Church of God. “I advise people to teach children to collect to keep them entertained like me. I am entertained, I am always looking for something to do to keep my mind occupied, ”he noted.

Impressive all the collection that has throughout the house

As a faith leader René says that the most important thing about NASCAR is that before starting any activity they pray to God. “It is the only sport that prays. I have never seen praying in a ball game or in any other sport. The directors have a pastor and pray in the name of Jesus and that is important when they involve God in their affairs ”, he assured.

But it is not only prayer where NASCAR puts God. The car association decided to put out a special edition of the Bible with photos of some of the old racers. It was in 2010 and his wife gave him that Bible.

Puerto Rican turns his house into a NASCAR sanctuary | The USA Print
Rene Stella

NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) is an organization and series of motor racing that has a historical and cultural base primarily in the United States, and is not inherently Hispanic in origin. NASCAR is known for its popularity in the United States, where stock car racing has been an ingrained phenomenon in American motoring culture for decades.

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René said that he hopes that some Puerto Rican will one day stand out in this type of racing. At the moment, what Boricuas are most excited about are the “drageo” competitions (drag Racing is a race in which two vehicles compete in a short straight track, accelerating to high speeds in a relatively short distance).

“I think that up to now there is no driver for that category because you have to be very good at racing and have several sponsors that support you financially. I hope that one day a Puerto Rican achieves the feat,” Stella said.

Víctor González, Jr. a Puerto Rican professional stock car racing driver became the first Puerto Rican driver to compete in a top-tier NASCAR series when he broke the barrier in 2009. He last competed part-time in NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro for Niece Motorsports. Two-time competitor in the Daytona 24 Hours endurance race.

Puerto Rican turns his house into a NASCAR sanctuary | The USA Print

And it is that at the moment there are only Hispanics of Mexican and Cuban origin in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program.

“It is not easy, but if they have the dedication and discipline, nothing is impossible, you have to work hard. The doors are open to everyone and the NASCAR Diversity program is a program where I come from that helps more minority drivers be there,” said Suárez, who is originally from Monterrey, Mexico and spoke almost no English. .

While Andrés Pérez participates in the ARCA Menards Series that leads drivers to the main NASCAR series. He is a 17-year-old native of Mexico City and returns to Rev Racing after competing in the NASCAR Mexico Series and NASCAR Mexico Challenge categories.

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Pérez and Eloy Sebastián López Falcón are pilots selected to participate in the pilot development program.

However, as with many forms of sports and entertainment, diversity is becoming more apparent in NASCAR. Over the years, drivers and teams of various nationalities and ethnic origins have participated in the series, including Hispanic drivers.

Some Hispanic drivers have competed in NASCAR, such as Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia and Daniel Suárez of Mexico, who have gained attention and followers inside and outside the Hispanic community.

NASCAR has made efforts to broaden its reach and diversify its fan and participant base. Although its origin is in the United States and its greatest popularity is also found in this country, it is a sport that has experienced increasing internationalization and diversity in recent years, including the participation of Hispanic pilots.

“I want to tell you that I am going to be the first pastor to say a prayer in Spanish there, on the track, to represent Hispanics,” René declared.

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