Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 Haas Automation Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) head to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway this weekend for the final superspeedway race of the season. Suárez will pilot the traditional red-and-black Haas Automation paint scheme for Sunday’s 1000bulbs.com 500.
This race last year saw one of the most dominate performances by a racing organization. The four SHR teammates, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer and former SHR driver Kurt Busch, raced nose to tail at the front of the field for almost the entire event. The solid teamwork, along with power from Roush Yates Engines, allowed the four-car contingent to lead a total of 155 laps, along with the most important one – final lap. Almirola was the victor after Busch’s No. 41 machine ran out of fuel while leading as it came to the checkered flag. Almirola’s victory meant all four SHR entries secured a win in the 2018 season, which saw SHR capture a total of 12 wins. SHR also started that 193-lap Talladega race occupying the first four grid positions.
With chamber of commerce weather expected this weekend at the 2.66-mile superspeedway and only six races remaining in the 2019 season, fans will flock to see one of the best races on the circuit. The Alabama track has also undergone a multi-million-dollar infield renovation, making it even more fan friendly.
Suárez heads to Talladega after competing last weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, where he started 15th and ended the day with a 14th-place result.
He looks to improve on his superspeedway record this weekend. He has just one top-10 finish in his last 10 starts at Talladega and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He’s led a total of 23 laps at the sister tracks and has completed 82 percent of all possible laps.
In his young Cup Series career, Suárez has five starts at Talladega with a best finish of 10th earned in April 2018. In total, he’s led 12 laps and has an average starting position of 12.8 and an average finishing position of 14.4. Earlier this year at the famed superspeedway, the 27-year-old earned a 12th-place result.
The Mexico native has three Talladega starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a best result of seventh, along with five laps led. In the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series, Suárez has one start there, which resulted in a 15th-place finish.
The Haas Automation driver is 18th in the driver standings with 730 points and has a total of three top-fives and 10 top-10s this season, along with 135 laps led. He has an average start of 14.6 and an average finish of 15.4. 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:
Now that you’re through a majority of the season, how would you evaluate where you’re at on the performance side?
“I feel like we are in a better position with our cars from the start of the year. We aren’t exactly where we need to be, but I feel like we are definitely a top-10 car and we’re very close to being a top-five and, once you’re in the top-five, you’re able to put yourself in a really good position to win. Racing is like a roller coaster – sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. We’ll keep working hard and communicating.”
How important are teammates at Talladega?
“Obviously my teammates are very important to being successful at Talladega. We all watched what Stewart-Haas Racing did last year with sticking together so well. We have a different rules package this year but, no matter what, when you go to a superspeedway, your teammates will always be important. I feel like all of my teammates are great superspeedway racers, which is helpful, too.”