KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – After months of speculation, Stewart-Haas Racing officials confirmed Monday morning that Daniel Suárez will drive the team’s No. 41 Ford in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this year.
The Mexican driver, who turned 27 Monday, takes over from Kurt Busch, who drove the No. 41 Ford for the past five seasons at NASCAR’s top level.
This season will mark Suárez’s third year in the NASCAR Cup Series, but his first with SHR. Suárez made 72 NASCAR Cup Series starts with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017-18 after winning the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.
“This is the best birthday present I could ask for,” said Suárez. “We’ve all seen how competitive Stewart-Haas Racing is – all of their drivers won last year and all of them advanced deep into the playoffs. This is the opportunity every driver wants, and now I have it. I want to deliver for this team, our partners in Haas Automation, ARRIS and Ford and, ultimately, for me. We have everything we need to be successful.”
Team co-owner Tony Stewart believes Suárez’s quick ascension to the NASCAR Cup Series is proof of his talent and desire.
“In each series Daniel has raced in, he’s advanced quickly from rookie to race winner. In four years, he went from the K&N Series to the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Stewart. “In between, he won an Xfinity Series championship, and he did it all while learning a new language and a new culture. He’s dedicated, he’s talented and we’re proud to have him as a key part of our race team.”
Suárez’s racing career began in 2002, when he competed in go-karts. He won the Mexican national championship in 2007 and received an invitation to compete in the Rotax World Championship. In 2008, he joined the mini-stock division – an official support series of the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series.
Suárez won 10 races in the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series before coming stateside to compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. He kept on winning, scoring three victories in 2013 before transitioning to the Xfinity Series. Suárez earned the 2015 Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year title before his championship season in 2016, where he won three races, scored three poles and tallied 19 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.
In winning his first career Xfinity Series race on June 11, 2016 at Michigan Int’l Speedway, Suárez became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race.
Suárez will carry sponsorship from Haas Automation and ARRIS International PLC, racing alongside teammates Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer.
“We’re in racing to win and we believe Daniel Suárez can win in the NASCAR Cup Series,” said team co-owner and Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “Haas Automation is a global brand and our success is directly attributable to how we’ve leveraged the Haas name in racing. We use motorsports to showcase our latest technology and to attract the best talent in engineering and design. Daniel allows Haas Automation to strengthen its ties to the Mexican community by racing the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang.”
“Daniel has helped introduce the ARRIS brand to millions of NASCAR fans, and we’re very proud to continue supporting his efforts as part of Stewart-Haas Racing,” added Tim O’Loughlin, President of U.S. Sales, Global Marketing and Customer Operations for ARRIS. “Through the strategic partnerships we’ve built as a result of our NASCAR sponsorship, ARRIS has secured multiple opportunities to deploy its world-class connectivity solutions among leading enterprises, racing organizations and sports venues throughout the country. We look forward to collaborating with Stewart-Haas Racing and Haas Automation to pursue additional opportunities in the future.”