Daniel Suárez heads to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn with the No. 41 Ford Mustang team for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400. The Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) entry will once again be adorned with the familiar black-and-red Haas Automation colors for Suárez’s fifth Cup Series start at the 2-mile oval located in the Irish Hills of Michigan.
Suárez enters the weekend after an eighth-place finish at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, where he led nine laps, earned five stage points and secured his third top-10 at the track. This is Suárez’s first season piloting a Blue Oval vehicle. However, the 27-year-old has a penchant for vintage Mustangs, with one of his favorites being a 1967 fastback.
In Suárez’s four Cup Series starts at Michigan, he has a best finish of 11th, which he earned last August. Additionally, he’s led three laps at the track.
Michigan is the site of the Mexican native’s first NASCAR Xfinity Series win, which he captured in June 2016. He took the checkered flag by a .280-of-a-second margin for the victory that came in his 48th career Xfinity Series start. With the win, Suárez became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race and the sixth foreign-born driver to win an Xfinity Series race. The victory came in Suárez’s second Xfinity Series start at Michigan. His average Xfinity Series starting position there is 8.0 and his average finishing position is 10.5.
The Haas driver is currently 13th in the standings to round out the four-driver SHR contingent. The top 16 drivers after the 26 regular-season races will earn a spot in the NASCAR playoffs. If Suárez captures a playoff position, it will be the first of his Cup Series career. Last year, all four SHR entries secured a playoff spot.
SHR swept both Michigan races last season with Clint Bowyer capturing the June victory and Kevin Harvick earning the win in August. Bowyer’s June win led a 1-2-3 finish by SHR. The organization has three Michigan victories in all. In addition to Bowyer and Harvick scoring last year’s wins, former SHR driver Kurt Busch earned a victory in June 2015.
For the third time this season, the No. 41 Ford Mustang will have Haas Automation’s Demo Day displayed on the hood. The design is a reminder that Haas Automation’s Demo Day is quickly approaching, and Haas Automation wants everyone to get automated. It’s in the company’s name. It’s in the company’s DNA. Haas Automation has been helping machine shops around the world automate their processes and boost their productivity since 1983, when it introduced the machine tool industry’s first fully programmable 5C collet indexer – the innovative Haas HA5C.
The tradition of innovation continues today and, on June 12, Haas Automation will present its latest automation solutions worldwide during a “Get Automated” demo day event at local Haas Factory Outlets (HFOs).
Demo Day 2019 at HFOs around the world will feature Haas Automation’s newest innovations for automating part production and machining, including the new Automatic Parts Loader for lathes; Pallet Pool systems for the EC-400 HMC and UMC-1000 Universal Machining Center; and robotic integrations on a wide variety of Haas machines. There will be free food and refreshments, limited-edition Haas T-shirts, and a chance to register to win a race weekend getaway. The machine tool industry is welcome to visit Haas Demo Day 2019 at any local Haas Factory Outlet and “Get Automated” – taking production to the next level. Demonstrations will vary by location. Contact a local HFO for details.
DANIEL SUÁREZ, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Demo Day Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
How do you feel about going to Michigan this weekend?
“Michigan is where I got my first Xfinity win, so it’s special to me. You don’t forget moments like that. For the last couple of years, I have been very jealous of the Ford power at Michigan. Now, I’m very excited because I’m with Ford Performance and Stewart-Haas Racing. I’m excited to go to Michigan, and then we have the off week and I’m going home to Mexico. I’m looking forward to closing the middle of the season, and who knows, we might even put the No. 41 Mustang in victory lane.”
What do you find cool about the Mustang?
“Actually, my dad’s first car was a 1971 Mustang. It was his 15th birthday gift. I have pictures of that car that my dad has shown me and he took so much care of that car. I feel like the Mustang is the father of all the muscle cars. I feel like it’s the most iconic car, a real classic. I feel like every single person out there that likes cars, they need to have a Mustang in their collection.”
From June through mid-August, NASCAR is on the road with long hauls to seemingly every race. How important is that summer stretch to solidifying a playoff berth?
“I feel like you have to be strong the whole year. There are some races that are more important than others because there are some tracks where we also race in the playoffs, so you have to be on the lookout for those. I think you have to be strong the whole year. You have to be consistent. You have to be running up front and earning stage points and things like that. You really have to be on point the whole year. Honestly, I’m not that kind of driver who is thinking, ‘Oh, this month or that month,’ I’m thinking about the whole year overall.”