Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 Haas Automation Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) make the shortest commute of the season over to Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway this weekend. The home track for SHR is located approximately 10 miles from its shop in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Suárez will pilot the traditional red-and-black Haas paint scheme for Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400.
With eight races remaining in the 2019 Cup Series season, the “roval” is the third and final road-course event on the schedule. This weekend marks only the second time the road-course layout has been run at Charlotte for the Cup Series. Last year’s inaugural event provided exciting racing to the final lap. Not only is the layout relatively new to the Cup Series drivers, it’s also a playoff cutoff race, making every position even more valuable to the 16 playoff-contending drivers.
Last year on the roval, Suárez started 17th and finished 21st and on the lead lap. His 87 green-flag passes were the most among all drivers. This weekend marks his first time tackling the road course behind the wheel of an SHR entry. The Mexico native is still looking for his first Cup Series win.
The Haas Automation driver goes into the Charlotte event after a 10th-place finish last weekend at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. He qualified 14th and the No. 41 team continually worked on the handling of the Ford Mustang to improve its performance.
In his young Cup Series career, Suárez has seven road-course starts with two top-five finishes, and he’s completed 100 percent of all 689 possible laps. He’s led 14 laps and has an average starting and finishing position of 13.3.
Overall at Charlotte, Suárez has four starts on the traditional oval course in addition to last fall’s start on the roval. His best result at Charlotte is sixth, which he earned on the oval in October 2017.
Ford swept last year’s roval weekend with wins in both the Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. So far this season, Ford has visited victory lane eight times.
The Haas Automation driver is currently 17th in the point standings through 28 races with three top-fives and 10 top-10s this season, along with 134 laps led. He has an average start of 14.6 and an average finish of 14.8. He earned his second career Cup Series pole, first with the No. 41 team, in July at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
Haas Automation, founded in 1983 by SHR co-owner Gene Haas, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are constructed in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.
DANIEL SUÁREZ, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You have a lot of experience go-kart racing. How does that translate to the road-course racing you do now?
“Well, I grew up racing go karts all of the time. I know I’m really good in road-course go karts, but stock car road-course racing is so different because the cars are so heavy. The basics are the same, but the way you have to take care of the brakes, take care of the tires and things like that is a totally different game. It’s very hard to make these cars change directions so quickly because they are so heavy. Most of the time, road-course racing is pretty good to me, so we’ll see how it goes this weekend.”
How do you feel about racing in the rain?
“In go karts, I love racing in the rain, but again, in go karts, rain is totally different from trying to race these heavy cars. I don’t have a problem with the rain, but with these cars, it’s just so different. We’ll see a lot of cars in the grass if it rains.”