Suárez becomes the first driver of Mexican origin to win the Cup
Daniel Suárez made history.
Suárez, 30, became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race on June 12 at Sonoma Raceway, driving his No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet to the checkered flag.
The win came in Suárez’s 195th career start at NASCAR’s top tier.
“It’s a crazy day. I have so many thoughts in my head right now,” Suárez said, becoming emotional during his victory celebration. “I mean, it’s been a tough road. It’s been a tough journey in the Cup Series. These guys believe in me – Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks, Ty Norris. Everyone who has helped me get to this point. Many people in Mexico: Jay Morales, Carlos Slim. My family, they never gave up on me. A lot of people did, but they didn’t. … Just very happy that we were able to make it work.
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Suárez becomes the fifth Cup Series winner born outside the United States. The others: Australian Marcos Ambrose, Italian Mario Andretti, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya and Canadian Earl Ross.
Suárez is a graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program. Prior to going national, Suárez spent much of his time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, which is now known as the ARCA Menards Series East.
Where Suárez first rose to prominence was in the NASCAR Peak Mexico series. The native of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico made his first stock car start there on September 6, 2009. He had four starts that year, but then ran five full-time seasons until the season 2014. Suárez won 10 times between 2012 and 2014, placing his career best second in the final standings of 2013. His career then took off.
“I’m extremely proud to be the driver from Mexico, the driver from a different background,” Suárez previously told NASCAR.com. “I don’t think the sport could have found anyone more committed to myself, my culture and my journey.”
In his first season with Trackhouse in 2021, Suárez scored one top five and four top 10s. He led laps in five different races for a total of 74 laps ahead. He averaged 20.1 and placed 25th in the standings.
In just the second event of 2022, Suárez matched his best run of 2021. He came fourth at Auto Club Speedway, tying his mark in last season’s Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Race. He also finished fourth three weeks later at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Safe to say, Suárez is more comfortable and confident in Year 2 with Trackhouse.
“We are going to win some races here very soon,” Suárez said after Auto Club. “I can’t thank everyone on my team enough. We had a fast car, but we went through a lot of adversity. … I am happy and honored at the same time. I can tell you that I will be working very, very hard to get to Victory Lane here very, very soon.
Prior to Trackhouse, Suárez raced for Gaunt Brothers Racing in 2020. In 2019, Suárez had a career-best four top-five finishes, as well as 11 top-10 finishes. He was racing the #41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford at the time.
From 2017 to 2018, Suárez was with Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 19 Toyota. His first career Cup Series start was on February 26, 201, at the Daytona 500, where he placed 29th. His career-best result — until his decisive victory — was runner-up on July 29, 2018 at Pocono Raceway.
Suárez dominated the Xfinity Series the previous year. He captured the 2016 title and took home the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award with three wins, 19 top fives and 27 top 10s. It was his second full-time season in the Xfinity Series, both spent with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Marks announced the formation of Trackhouse in October 2020, appointing Suárez as its driver. Soon after, Armando Perez – better known as Pitbull – became a team partner. Ross Chastain joined the squad ahead of the 2022 season as Suarez’s teammate in the #1 Chevrolet, and he’s won twice in 2022.
There is a solid base in place despite the youth of the team.
“You look at my career over the last few years, I haven’t had consistency, and I feel like consistency in racing is something super important,” Suárez said when the team was revealed. . “If you can’t have consistency, you can’t succeed. It was very important for me to know that I was going to have everything I needed to be competitive and to be successful, not only next year, but also for the future.
Input: Staff Reports