Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 Haas Automation Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) make the relatively short jaunt north to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series First Data 500. Suárez will return to the red-and-black Haas Automation livery after driving his ARRIS Ford Mustang last weekend at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
At Kansas, Suárez qualified the ARRIS Mustang eighth, making him the highest qualifying SHR entry. He led nine laps and ran in the top-10 for a majority of the day but finished 32nd at the 1.5-mile track after late-race accident.
The Mexico native has two career top-10 finishes in his five starts at the half-mile, paperclip-shaped Virginia short track. In this year’s March race, he started ninth and finished 10th. He has an average starting position there of 14.8 and an average finishing position of 16.8.
Additionally, Suárez has four Martinsville starts in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors NASCAR Truck Series, which he used to gain experience for his Cup Series endeavor as the Xfinity Series does not race at the venue. In the Truck Series, he has three top-10 starts, including one outside pole position, and two top-10 results, earning him an average starting position of 6.2 and an average finishing position of 11.5.
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.
SHR has accumulated four wins at Martinsville, the most recent by Clint Bowyer in March 2018. In total, the Kannapolis, North Carolina-based team has 10 top-five finishes and 28 top-10s in 66 starts there.
At tracks 1 mile in length or less, Suárez has five top-10 finishes and 22 laps led, with an average starting position of 18.5 and an average finishing position of 14.6.
Fans have the chance to bid on Suárez’s Kansas race-worn helmet visor benefiting the Jimmie Johnson Foundation to help raise funds for K-12 public education programs. Fans can vote hereuntil noon EDT Friday.
The Virginia track is the shortest of the season for the Cup Series at .526 of a mile, and the second-to-last short track remaining on the calendar for the 2019 season. Should Suárez score the win Sunday, he’ll take home the unique Martinsville grandfather clock trophy.
The Haas Automation driver is 18th in the standings with 757 points and has three top-fives and 10 top-10s this season, along with 141 laps led. He has an average start of 14.5 and an average finish of 16.5. He earned his second career Cup Series pole, first with the No. 41 team, in July at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
DANIEL SUÁREZ, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What makes Martinsville unique?
“I love going to Martinsville. It’s just a different atmosphere and they have things so unique to them – the trophy, the style of track, etc. It’s one of those tracks that you have to go slow in order to make yourself fast. You have to back up the corner and go slow going into it, then you really get your speed coming off of it to pass people. There’s a lot of beating and banging between all of us on the track and it’s something really fun to watch for the fans.”