Daniel Suarez Lands at Stewart-Haas Racing for 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Season
The 2016 Xfinity Series champ will take over the No. 41 Ford previously driven by Kurt Busch.
On Monday, Stewart-Haas Racing announced that Daniel Suarez will be the new driver behind the wheel of the No. 41 Ford Mustang for 2019. The announcement by the team is a special gift for Suarez, as the Monterrey, Mexico native celebrates his 27th birthday.
"It's been a really exciting time for me. It's been a little bit hard as well," said Suarez about his uncertainty of finding a full-time ride during the offseason. "A lot of people ask me those questions and I've been trying to avoid those answers, but I'm very excited that finally the word is going to be out and I'm going to be able to be more relaxed and more comfortable without feeling like I'm hiding."
"I'm really excited to be part of Stewart-Haas Racing, a great organization. So far, everybody here has been making me feel at home," Suarez continued.
Suarez will replace the 2004 NASCAR Cup champion Kurt Busch, who after five years left the organization to pilot the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Chip Ganassi Racing. At SHR, Daniel joins an experienced group of drivers consisting of the 2014 NASCAR Cup champ Kevin Harvick as well as veterans Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola. All three drivers visited Victory Lane during the 2018 season.
Billy Scott will return as the crew chief for the No. 41 team, marking his fourth season atop the pit box for SHR.
Daniel's third full-time campaign in the NASCAR Cup Series will be co-sponsored by Gene Haas-owned Haas Automation and telecommunications company Arris, who followed the driver from Joe Gibbs Racing.
This will also be the first year that Suarez has driven any racecar that doesn't tout a Toyota badge. "It is different for sure," said Suarez of the year's shift in manufacturer support. "If you look at it, I had a long career with Toyota, pretty much my entire career in NASCAR—not just in the U.S., but in Mexico." He also said, "(Toyota) were nothing but great to me. Great people, great company, and I have nothing bad to say about them."
Daniel's first two years in the Cup Series with Joe Gibbs Racing were not as successful as the driver had anticipated. When compared to his rookie season in 2017, Daniel's 2018 season stats dipped overall, but the driver was able to accumulate three top-five finishes and won his first pole award in the Cup Series.
With a new team, manufacturer support, and improved equipment, it looks like the 2019 NASCAR Cup season could be the most successful of Suarez's career.