Although it has gone with very little fanfare and even less media attention, Daniel Suarez and Gaunt Brothers Racing have quietly and methodically churned out a really impressive season in 2020, the team’s first-ever attempt at a full-time campaign.
Since missing the season-opening Daytona 500 due to a heartbreaking crash in their qualifying race, the non-Charter team has pulled together and put together some ultra-consistent runs. In fact, as we sit with 11 races left in the 2020 season, the 28-year old Suarez is in the midst of a 13-consecutive top-30 finish streak and he has torn up less equipment than almost everyone else in the NASCAR Cup Series.
According to TobyChristie.com’s 2020 incident rankings, only one driver (JJ Yeley), who has competed in at least 20 NCS races, has less incidents than Suarez this season. Suarez, who hails from Mexico, has recorded only one incident during races in 2020.
While the results have not been flashy, Suarez and Gaunt Brothers Racing have been super effective. The team sits 31st in the NCS Owner Standings ahead several Charter teams. Spire Motorsports’ No. 77, Rick Ware Racing’s No. 15, 27, 51 and 53 and StarCom Racing’s No. 00 are all teams currently in possession of a Charter that rank lower in the owner standings than GBR.
This past weekend, Suarez notched 30th and 28th-place finishes during the Drydene 311 double header weekend. Now, with 11 races remaining in 2020, GBR holds a firm 166-point lead over Motorsports Business Management’s No. 66 team as the top non-Charter team in the Series. If Suarez and the team can close out the season in the same fashion they’ve run the rest of the year, they will easily lock up the bonus check for being the top non-Charter team for the second-consecutive year.
Last season, the team only competed in 15 events, but still took the top non-charter team crown over the then Premium Motorsports No. 27 team, which ran full-time. The non-Charter bonus afforded Gaunt Brothers Racing the opportunity to move to full-time for 2020. If they secure the bonus again this season, you would imagine they’d be in the running to purchase a Charter, which would give them a higher percentage of the weekly race purse, or at the very least be in a position to upgrade their equipment and other resources.
Regardless, the little team that could from a season ago, should continue building itself closer to being a formidable contender next season and the coming seasons. It truly feels like GBR is growing their team the right way.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.