Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
SUAREZ ON CONTRACT: “We are working on things.”
Daniel Suarez may have just joined Stewart Haas Racing at the beginning of the 2019 season, but that doesn’t mean his name has not surfaced already when it comes to discussions of where drivers will be for 2020.
Although originally believed to be a multi-year contract, Suarez ultimately signed a one-year deal with an option to go beyond that. As of right now, those discussions are taking place with the team, and thus far going well as Suarez said at Michigan International Speedway that he feels “very confident in where we are.”
“We know where we are at and what we can do,” he said. “We haven’t won races, that was my goal, but nobody has on the team. It isn’t like I am the only one not winning races like it was the last three years. It is a way different situation. I feel like when we move forward we move forward together. I don’t feel like I am the guy that is struggling of the group. I feel like we are going to be in good shape. I feel like I am in a good home with Stewart-Haas Racing and Ford Performance and everyone in this group.”
Suarez has been solid through the first 15 races this season, currently ranked 13th in the standings with six top-10 finishes, including a pair of top-fives. He also enters Sonoma Raceway with momentum after placing eighth and fourth in the past two events on the 2019 schedule.
The solid performance, combined with Suarez’s confidence, would lead you to believe everything will easily fall in place for 2020. However, everybody believed that was going to happen last year with Joe Gibbs Racing and the Mexican driver, and that changed in an instant.
“You never know in this sport,” he commented. “I don’t like talking about it until it is 110% secure. The sport is at a point where anything can happen. What I can control is this weekend. I have to do my thing this weekend and try to win races. I feel like the rest will take care of itself.”
Last season, the news of Suarez being replaced by Martin Truex Jr. did not come out until November, with him signing with SHR two months later.
“I feel like last year was one of those life lessons for me,” he said. “I am the kind of person that I just trust people a lot. I just trust people and that is just how I operate. Unfortunately, things ended up working out different. For me, I wasn’t worried at all because we were not signing the contract, for me what they were telling me was more than enough and then it ended up not working out that way. It was a lesson learned that way.
“I don’t come from a racing family or anything even close to that. I have been learning as I go and last year was a good lesson for myself.”
For now, though, Suarez is cherishing his time at Stewart-Haas Racing and the opportunity before him, as he continues to grow more comfortable with his teammates.
“I feel like everyone has been extremely good to me and we work very good together,” he said. “I have great teammates with Clint, Kevin and Aric. We have a great group and I am very happy to be part of it. I wish we were winning races, all four of us. We aren’t there yet. I know we are going to get there. That is something that I know. I know it is going to happen. We just have to be patient and keep working hard.
“We have had a lot of long meetings because I don’t like to race 15th. Kevin definitely doesn’t. Clint doesn’t’. Nobody does. We know what we can do. We all know that we can win races, all four of us. We just have to work hard and try to find that sweet spot that we have been missing a little bit in the last month.”
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