By Toby Christie (Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie)
What has been speculation for months has now become reality as Stewart-Haas Racing announced that Daniel Suárez will drive for the organization’s No. 41 Ford Mustang in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2019.
The announcement was made via a team press release on Monday.
Suárez, who turned 27 on Monday, drove his first two Cup Series seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing and the Mexican-born driver won a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship for the team back in 2016. For Suarez, Monday’s news was a dream birthday gift.
“This is the best birthday present I could ask for,” said Suárez. “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.”
As eluded to in that statement, the car will be sponsored by Haas Automation and ARRIS (who have sponsored the driver through his whole NASCAR career).
Suárez joins a stable that already includes Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola — who all won races in 2018. The car he is taking over was driven by Kurt Busch last season and it also visited victory lane. Tony Stewart, team co-owner, believes in his latest driver.
“In each series Daniel has raced in, he’s advanced quickly from rookie to race winner,” Stewart said. “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.”
Gene Haas echoed the statement that Stewart made.
“We’re in racing to win and we believe Daniel Suárez can win in the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Haas.
Suárez has four top-five finishes (three of which came in 2018) and 21 top-10 finishes through 72-career Cup Series starts. The talented driver has also recorded three Xfinity Series wins and he has a win in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series as well.