Daniel Suarez is hoping to become the third driver to win their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this season in Sunday’s Foxwoods Resorts 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Alex Bowman and Justin Haley both put their names in the NASCAR record books with first career victories earlier this summer. Suarez will make his 92nd career start in NASCAR’s top series in New Hampshire and hopes the day ends with a trip to Victory Lane.
Suarez comes to New Hampshire after a solid outing in last week’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver started from the pole and led 52 laps. But a flat tire and pit road speeding penalty threw a pair of challenges at Suarez he was forced to overcome on his way to an eighth-place finish.
Suarez attributed the top-10 finish to the perseverance of his team and crew chief Billy Scott.
“I think a lot of that credit goes to Billy,” Suarez said. “Billy built this team. All of these guys have been together for a while with Billy as the crew chief, and they were all together before I came here.
“I’m the new person to the group. We all like being around each other, even when we aren’t at the track. We like to hang out together and go and do different things outside of the racetrack.”
The 27-year-old Suárez is making his fourth Cup Series career start at New Hampshire, where he has two top-10 finishes, along with an average starting position of 16.0 and an average finishing position of 12.0.
He enters the weekend 18th in the series point standings trailing SHR teammate Clint Bowyer by 10 points in the 14th spot. Suarez is optimistic about his chances to get inside the playoff cutline by the end of the regular season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September and again believes his team will be helpful in achieving the goal.
“I think it’s a combination of things,’ Suarez said about his personal confidence level at SHR. “I feel really good about our communication and we are all very clear with each other. If I’m struggling, I know what my teammates have and they’re good about sharing information.
“As a whole at SHR, we are all very open with each other and I think that’s why you see us running near each other most of the time, but it makes me feel good knowing that all four of our cars and teams are on the same page.”