Are you ready? Let’s go.
Remember the name. He does not need his name lights.
NASCAR racing is a percentage of luck, percentage of skill, percentage of the concentrated power of will, and percentage of pain.
Suarez has seen all of the above to start the 2019 race season until the final race.
We can start with pain. Suarez revealed he was shocked when he learned he was ousted at Stewart Hass for Cole Custer being promoted. The former Xfinity Series champion said he felt strongly he would be back in the No. 41 Ford next year.
In January 2019, it was announced that Suárez signed with Stewart-Haas Racing to drive the No. 41 Ford Mustang GT in the 2019 season. With the year and season coming to an end, he learned team co-owner Gene Haas had a change of heart.
Stewart-Haas Racing said it would replace Suarez in the Cup Series next year with Custer, a 21-year-old prospect racing Saturday for the Xfinity championship on finale weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“It was a surprise,” Suarez told reporters at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “I was shocked as you guys are probably are right now, just a couple of nights ago. I am a little disappointed. A lot of people worked very hard on this team to try to put everything together, and unfortunately, it was not enough. We needed a few months. We had to find big amounts of money to keep the ride for next year. My group of people, friends, and a lot of people at Stewart-Haas Racing went to work, and we actually did a pretty good job. We pretty much met the goal, but unfortunately, part of the money wasn’t on the table at this point.”
Suarez has now been fired twice in a year because his Cup team needed his seat to promote another driver. Joe Gibbs Racing released him last year because it had to clear space for driver Erik Jones.
The percentage of power and will, Suarez has not benefited from both instead, frustration has shown this season.
During qualifying for the 2019 TicketGuardian 500 at Phoenix, Suárez had an on-track incident with Michael McDowell, which resulted in a fight on pit road. Despite showing signs of improvement in performance, Suárez failed to make the 2019 playoffs after finishing 11th after an on-track incident with Matt Tifft that caused a caution at Indianapolis.
“I had been talking with most of (the media) for the last few weeks, and I’m pretty sure that most everyone saw me very confident because I knew where we were,” Suarez said. “I was 95 percent sure we were in. I thought we were in good shape.”
At SHR, Suarez narrowly missed making the playoffs and went into Sunday’s season finale at Homestead 17th in the standings — the highest a non-playoff driver can finish.
Suarez is looking for another team; however, he is a talented driver wearing his culture on his sleeve. He is the only Mexican racer in NASCAR’s national series in racecar this season.
“I am pretty strong. I have a lot of sacrifices in my life to be here,” Suarez said. “I feel I am strong, and it been a little difficult the last 24 hours.”
A native of Monterrey in Nuevo León, Suárez began his racing career in karting in 2002. In 2007, he won the class championship. In 2008, he moved to the preliminary category of NASCAR Mexico, Mini-Stocks, where he became the youngest driver to win a race in the series. He moved to the NASCAR Mexico Series in 2010, driving for Telcel Racing and winning the series’ Rookie of the Year title. In 2011, Suárez participated in the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway, finishing in 11th, the highest-finishing Mexican driver in the event.
“I don’t come from a racing family; somehow I got here,” Suarez said. “It has been a lot of fun this journey with my father; he got me into racing when I was 11 years old just for fun. I grew up working on cars, fixing cars with my father. I got into racing just for fun. I wanted to get better and win races; it was extremely fun.”
Suarez will not be back with Stewart Haas Racing but expect him to be on a team for 2020. Entering the EcoBoost 400, his best finish is second in 72 Cup starts. He won the Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year award in 2015, then followed by winning the series championship the next season.
The beat goes on.
“We love Daniel, we love what he does, but we also believe in Cole and believe this is the right time and his opportunity, and he’s really made big gains this year,” Tony Stewart said. “We talked to him at the beginning of the season and said we need to see some improvement and see some gains, and not only did he respond to that, he responded with a bunch of wins this year and racing for a championship this weekend. The kid has earned his opportunity to get this ride for next year.”
Winning races would not get a driver fired. If you are second, you are last. NASCAR benefited with the grown of Hispanics following the sport and no coincident because of Suarez.
“I feel like I have a lot of responsibility to be in this position right now,” Suarez said. “Seven years ago, before coming to this country to race, I don’t feel like there many drivers in Mexico who had an interest to race, and today there are many. The reason is that they are looking at myself and see that it is possible. For me, that is my goal, and I feel we are moving in the right direction.”
The expectations will be high for him and the culture he carries on his shoulder. Remember the name and Hispanic names after.