Daniel Suarez
Stewart-Haas Racing
2019 Fantasy Outlook
At the time of this writing it's not official, but it looks like Suarez is poised to take over the No. 41 Ford at Stewart Haas Racing. This is the same car that Kurt Busch raced to one win and 22 Top 10s last season. Before we go off extrapolating all kinds of weird stats for this young driver, let's take a quick look at his Joe Gibbs Racing experience the last two seasons. Suarez took over the No. 19 Toyota in January 2017 when Carl Edwards unexpectedly retired. He was decent enough in his rookie season, collecting 12 Top 10 finishes and finishing 20th in the standings. However, the sophomore campaign showed no growth at all. Suarez labored to just nine Top 10s and finished a similar 21st in the final driver standings. While his flirtation with victory lane and runner-up finish at Pocono in the mid-summer opened some eyes, it proved to be just a blip on the radar screen. Suarez was forced out at the No. 19 Toyota by incoming star, Martin Truex Jr., so you could say there's some ill feelings and bad blood between the young Mexican and his former boss. However, Suarez has a lot to prove and some big shoes to fill once again in a new race team. Can he measure up to the pressure? Read Past Outlooks
Scuffle During Phoenix Qualifying
March 8, 2019
Suarez and Michael McDowell got physical during Busch Pole Qualifying, shoving each other on pit road with the Stewart-Haas Racing driver forcefully taking down his fellow Ford stablemate after McDowell initiated contact, NASCAR.com reports.
It's highly unusual to see two drivers get into a physical confrontation during qualifying, but that's what happened Friday at ISM Raceway. Suarez and McDowell's trouble began in the first round of knockout qualifying when the Stewart Haas Racing driver couldn't get past the No. 34 Ford to turn his hot lap. The two would fail to advance into the second round as a result. Both drivers met on pit road afterward and the fireworks began with a heated discussion and McDowell shoving Suarez. The driver of the No. 41 Ford then body slammed McDowell before the two were separated. Suarez and McDowell both roll off on the 14th row Sunday in what will surely be an interesting situation.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
With the sudden retirement of Carl Edwards last January, Suarez was thrust into the spotlight. He took over the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota and he performed extremely well given his brief period of racing in the Xfinity Series. Suarez notched 12 Top-10 finishes and waged a spirited battle with Erik Jones for last season's rookie of the year. The young Mexican hit a bit of a rough patch to close out last season, but he learned a tremendous amount in his first full season of racing at NASCAR's top level. The entire No. 19 team returns intact for the new season, so Suarez will have the same cast and support as last year. We expect to see him grow and continue to improve in 2018. Suarez missed the Chase for the Cup in season one, but he should have no trouble making the playoff field in season two.
With the shocking and late-breaking news in mid-January that Carl Edwards would not be returning to the No. 19 Toyota of Joe Gibbs Racing, Suarez was suddenly thrust into the Rookie of the Year discussion. The 24-year-old Mexican is fresh off the Xfinity Series championship in 2016, and was looking to defend that title in the upcoming season before the unexpected promotion. Suarez will be paired with Edwards' crew chief, Dave Rogers, and he'll look to make the Chase for the Cup in year one and win ROTY honors. The talented youngster has made his mark in the Xfinity Series in a very short time. Suarez piled up one championship, three victories and 45 Top-10 finishes in just 68 starts. He has loads of ability and is very coachable, but has zero experience in the Monster Energy Cup Series car.
The 2015 Rookie of the Year in this racing series returns to up the ante. Suarez didn’t break into victory lane in his rookie year, but he steadily progressed as the season wore on and put up some very good numbers. The first-full season of racing in the Xfinity Series yielded three pole positions and 18 Top-10 finishes for the driver of the No. 19 Toyota. Suarez ended last year with a flurry of six-straight Top-10 finishes to serve notice he would be a power in the upcoming season. The young driver gets a change in crew chiefs this season with Scott Graves taking over, but that should be of little concern. Suarez was really figuring these Xfinity cars out over the stretch run of last season and that learning curve should continue upward into 2016.
More Fantasy News
Earns His First Atlanta Top-10 Finish
February 25, 2019
Suarez earned his first Atlanta Top-10 finish with his 10th-place effort Sunday in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, stewarthaasracing.com reports.
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Joins Stewart-Haas Racing team
January 7, 2019
Stewart-Haas Racing announced Monday that Suarez will drive the team's No. 41 car for the NASCAR Cup Series in 2019, replacing Kurt Busch, Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com reports.
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Finalizing Details with New Team
December 3, 2018
Suarez says he is finalizing the details with his new race team for next season, and that he hopes to have more opportunities for success with his new team, motorsport.com reports.
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Engine Change at Texas
November 4, 2018
Suarez will fall to the rear of the field for the start of Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
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2019 Plans Not Settled
November 3, 2018
Despite there being only three races left in the season and knowing that he is out of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota when the checkered flag falls at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Suarez, confirmed he has yet to finalize plans for 2019 - meaning he doesn't have a ride at the present time, Scott Page of ESPN reports.
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