In a sport where most of the talent is cultivated at an extremely young age and plucked from short tracks across the United States, Paludo, a native of Nova Prata, Brazil, got his first taste of racing in a go-kart at age 14 and did not pursue his racing career professionally until after graduating from college and starting his own successful business. At age 21, Paludo and his brother Daniel competed side-by-side in an entry in one of Brazil’s regional tour car series. Paludo experienced success immediately, winning just the fourth race he competed in.
That same year, Paludo was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. However, he did not let the diagnosis stop him. He continued to pursue his racing career, all while learning how to manage his diabetes. In 2006, Paludo took his talents to the national level, racing Renault Clios, where he earned two podium finishes. In 2008, Paludo graduated to the Porsche GT3 Cup Brasil, winning the championship on the strength of three wins, two poles and 11 top-three finishes. Paludo repeated his performance the following year, becoming the first back-to-back and two-time champion in series history.
The 2010 season brought big changes for Paludo. He and wife Patricia left their home country of Brazil to come to the United States so Paludo could test his talents at the NASCAR level. In January, he got his first experience behind the wheel of a stock car when he participated in a test for Red Horse Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. He then signed a deal to drive in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for Hattori Racing Enterprises. He competed in nine of 10 races, earning his best finish of fourth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Paludo made his Camping World Truck Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway in August of that year for Germain Racing, earning a ninth-place finish and impressing even the toughest critics. He made one additional start for the team at Kentucky Speedway before joining Red Horse Racing at the end of the season.
2011 marked Paludo’s first full-time NCWTS season. He was involved in one of the tightest Rookie of the Year battles in series history on his way to a 17th-place finish in the final point standings. The Brazilian native captured three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He and his wife also welcomed a new addition to the family when they had their first child, son Oliver, late that summer.
Joining Turner Scott Motorsports for a full-time NCWTS campaign the following season, Paludo began 2012 by making history in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, becoming the first Brazilian to win a pole award in one of NASCAR’s top-three series. A few months later, Paludo and his wife Patricia learned that their son Oliver, only eight months old at the time, had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Already an advocate for diabetes awareness and management prior to Oliver’s diagnosis due to his own condition, his son’s diabetes inspired him to expand his involvement with the cause. Paludo teamed up with the International Diabetes Federation as a Blue Circle Champion, becoming the first South American representative for the organization. He ran a special Unite for Diabetes paint scheme on his No. 32 truck in June, and then followed up his efforts in November with a World Diabetes Day paint scheme. Paludo rounded off 2012 with his best finish of the season (fifth) in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Paludo was 10th in the final NCWTS driver point standings, his best NASCAR points finish to date.
Paludo returns to Turner Scott Motorsports’ No. 32 Chevrolet Silverado in 2013, with Jeff Hensley continuing as crew chief. Paludo and his team will build on the chemistry and experience from the previous season in the hopes of becoming the first Brazilian champion in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Miguel Paludo - #32