Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has signed Daniel Suárez to its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2019. The Mexican driver, who turned 27 today, will pilot the team’s No. 41 Ford Mustang with sponsorship from Haas Automation and ARRIS International PLC, joining teammates Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer.
The 2019 season will mark Suárez’s third year in the elite NASCAR Cup Series, but his first with SHR. Suárez made 72 NASCAR Cup Series starts with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017-2018 after winning the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.
“This is the best birthday present I could ask for,” said Suárez, who was born Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico and now calls Huntersville, North Carolina home. “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.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. may be in the booth now, but he can't seem to stay away from a little on-track action.
Next up, the fan favorite will find himself driving the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado pace truck to lead the field to green for the 61st running of Daytona 500 in February 2019. This is the first time the Daytona 500 will be paced by a pickup truck.
“I’ve had a lot of fun and a lot of success at Daytona over the years, and now I can’t wait to get out on that track in a Silverado,” said Earnhardt Jr. “Away from the track I’ve driven Chevy trucks all my life, and I’m excited to have this unique experience of pacing the Daytona 500 with the Silverado.”
Earnhardt won two Daytona 500s and two July races at Daytona in his career. He has 13 top-5 finishes and 19 top-10s in 36 Cup Series career starts at Daytona.
“Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the perfect choice to pace the race because of his enthusiasm for the sport, his long history with Chevrolet and his love of trucks,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “It’ll be exciting to have Dale lead the field to green in the strongest, most advanced Silverado ever.”
The Silverado pace truck is powered by a production 6.2L V-8 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It delivers 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet has paced the Daytona 500 12 times, seven with Camaro and five with Corvette.
NASCAR drivers are known to spout off from time to time. It's in the nature of their job to be mad when they just got put in the wall. Many, many things have been said in these high-emotion moments over the years, and no one expects drivers to be happy they got wrecked.
But there is a line you must not cross if you want to have the respect of your competitors on track every week. And Ryan Newman went way over that line Saturday night at Richmond.
After tangling with Stewart late in the race, the two wrecked (along with a half-dozen other drivers), and Newman's Chase hopes were dashed. The two had battled hard on track all race, getting into each other multiple times. In the end, they pushed it too far and Richmond's version of "The Big One" ensued.