Daniel Suárez climbs behind the wheel of the No. 41 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with the familiar black-and-red Haas Automation colors displayed for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400. The Haas driver will make his fifth Cup Series start at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway – aka the “Tricky Triangle – where he earned a runner-up finish in the last year’s July event, just 1.788 seconds shy of his first Cup Series victory.
Suárez is the most recent pole winner at the three-turn track, which also happened to be his first Cup Series pole. He earned the premiere starting spot with a lap time of 50.851 seconds and a speed of 176.988 mph. He was the first Mexican-born driver to win a Cup Series pole award and he captured it in only his 57th start.
In the 27-year-old’s four Cup Series starts at the 2.5-mile track, he has another top-10 in addition to last year’s runner-up finish, with 30 laps led and a perfect lap completion rate of 644 laps possible. He has an average Pocono starting position of 10.2 and an average finishing position of 12.0.
Suárez has two starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Pocono with one top-five and two top-10s for an average starting position of 5.0 and an average finishing position of 7.0. He completed all possible laps in his Xfinity starts and led one lap in June 2017.
The Haas driver is currently 13th in the point standings to round out the four-car 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 has two victories at Pocono – team co-owner Tony Stewart earned a victory in June 2009 and former SHR driver Kurt Busch captured a victory in June 2016.
Meanwhile, Ford has 23 all-time Cup Series victories at Pocono. The last two Ford winners at Pocono have been first-time victors in the Cup Series. If Suárez crosses the finish line first, it would make him the third first-time series winner at Pocono behind the wheel of a Ford.
For the second time this season, the No. 41 machine will have Haas Automation’s Demo Day displayed on the hood of Suárez’s Ford Mustang. 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:
You’re returning to Pocono, where you had a lot of success last year. How do you feel going into this weekend?
“It was cool to get the pole there last year. Of course, it always helps to have a good starting spot. You really have to capitalize on a good starting position like that and we were able to do that and finish second. I can’t make mistakes and we can’t have mistakes on pit road. Everyone has to do their part to execute perfectly. I really feel like with the 41 team we keep making progress each weekend. Sometimes the results may not exactly show it, but my guys are doing a great job and they never give up.”
What is it like to have Clint Bowyer as a teammate?
“Clint is pretty funny and I call him the country boy. I would say that, last year and the years before, we were friends but we didn’t really talk a lot. Now we have become really good friends and it’s fun because we can make fun of each other. Once we are on the racetrack, we are competitors, but it has been a lot of fun working with Clint, and Kevin (Harvick) and Aric (Almirola), too.”