Suarez, a local favorite who drives the Tootsies No. 99 Chevrolet for Trackhouse Racing co-owned by Justin Marks who lives in Nashville, is taking time out during the NASCAR season encouraging drivers to never leave a dog or any pet in a car on a warm day.
He recorded a PETA-sponsored video that will air across the country where he pulls up next to a person who has left her dog in a car. She looks at him and says, “Whoa — Daniel Suarez from NASCAR?”
Suarez says, “That’s me and I raced over here because you probably don’t realize that your dog can die of a heatstroke in the time that it takes you to make a quick pit stop. Whatever errand you have to make is not as important as your dog’s life.”
The video ends with Suarez holding the small dog and saying, “Be your dog’s champion. Never leave him in the car in the warm weather.”
Suarez became the first Mexican driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race on June 12 when he won at Sonoma Raceway. He followed that race up by finishing 15th after being among the leaders early in the Ally 400. He is 19th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings.
Temperatures inside a parked car can reach triple digits in just minutes and at least 31 dogs have died this year from heat-related causes, according to PETA.
Earlier this year Suarez, who lives in Huntersville, North Carolina, donated $43,000 to the Humane Society of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Suarez also recently partnered with Zippy Paws, which creates safe toys for dogs.
“My whole life I have been surrounded by animals,” Suarez said.
”I have always loved and cared for them no matter how big or how small. My father’s (Alejandro) restoration shop in Mexico must have about 10 dogs there, all rescues from the street. I definitely grew up knowing that animals aren’t just animals, they’re just as much part of families as are moms, dads, brothers, or sisters.”
Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Daniel Suarez rescues dog in PETA video: NASCAR Cup Series driver