On Monday January 7, Monterrey, Mexico’s Daniel Suárez turned 27-years-old while announcing that he had signed with Stewart-Haas Racing, replacing Kurt Busch. He will drive the No. 41 Haas Automation/ARRIS International PLC.
After a mysterious off-season, the news that everyone was waiting for finally came out. The 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion was told last year that he would not be back at Joe Gibbs Racing. During his two full-time campaigns in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Suarez has a best finish of second and scored one pole award.
“This is the best birthday present I could ask for,” said Suárez, who now calls Huntersville, North Carolina home. “We’ve all seen how competitive Stewart-Haas Racing is – all of their drivers won last year and all of them advanced deep into the playoffs. This is the opportunity every driver wants, and now I have it. I want to deliver for this team, our partners in Haas Automation, ARRIS and Ford and, ultimately, for me. We have everything we need to be successful.”
His opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing not only keeps him in the Cup Series but also gives him the ability to prove himself in a top-tier ride. SHR was the headline of the 2018 season as they added Aric Almirola to their team and every driver went to victory lane.
Now, Suárez has the same chance Almirola had going into 2018. Prior to joining Stewart-Haas Racing, seven top-10 finishes are what Almirola scored highest in one season which was back in 2014. Last year, he captured 17 and added a second victory to his career which ultimately locked his spot in the postseason.
Will Suárez be the Almirola story of the 2019 season? Not necessarily as Suárez is in a different situation. He is much younger and has less experience than Almirola, but capturing this opportunity gives Suárez a chance to continue the little success he had at Joe Gibbs Racing and grow it into a possible championship caliber driver.
“In each series Daniel has raced in, he’s advanced quickly from rookie to race winner,” said Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. “In four years, he went from the K&N Series to the NASCAR Cup Series. In between, he won an Xfinity Series championship, and he did it all while learning a new language and a new culture. He’s dedicated, he’s talented and we’re proud to have him as a key part of our race team.”
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