Daniel Suarez says he feels more comfortable this year with Stewart-Haas Racing, and he’s also confident he’ll be with the team for a second season in 2020.
“We are working on things,” Suarez said of his contract. “I feel very confident in where we are. We have options on both sides, which is good. I have an option, they have an option, and I feel that is the best way to do things, especially when you have a lot of unknowns at the beginning of the year. We know where we’re at and what we can do.
“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.”
Suarez continued by saying he doesn’t feel he is the one struggling of the group and that he feels at home with SHR and Ford. He joined the company this season after spending his first two seasons in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Ahead of the FireKeepers Casino 400 (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, FS1), Suarez sits 13th in points with five top-10 finishes. Suarez has never qualified for the playoffs.
“I am not worried,” Suarez continued. “I feel confident about it. But I will tell you that I felt confident about it as well last year and you saw what happened. You never know in this sport. I don’t like talking about it until it is 110 percent 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.”
Suarez was fastest in the first of two practice sessions the Cup Series had on Friday at Michigan International Speedway. The track is familiar to Suarez as it’s where he won his first NASCAR national series race — in the Xfinity Series — in 2016.
Joe Gibbs Racing brought in 2017 Cup champion Martin Truex Jr. this season, leaving Suarez without a seat. In two seasons, Suarez led just 41 laps and had 21 top-10 finishes. This year working with crew chief Billy Scott, Suarez has led 13 laps and says he “for sure” is more comfortable.
“There is a lot of things that I can’t say and a lot of things I know that people don’t,” said Suarez. “I just have more confidence in what I’ve got. For whatever reason we struggled a lot last year. We had good races and pole positions and good runs but the problem is that one day I could show up to the racetrack with a winning car and the next day I couldn’t run 20th. It was extremely inconsistent for whatever reason, I don’t know why. I tried to figure it out but I couldn’t.
“This team has been working very good with me and I feel like I have a bright future ahead.”