Suarez Prepares To Wind Up The West Coast Swing

Daniel Suarez
The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads west to wrap up its three-race West Coast swing. Daniel Suárez will pilot the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. It marks the third time Suárez will pilot the black-and-red Haas Automation livery this season. 

Fontana is the home track for Haas Automation, which is located approximately two hours west in Oxnard, California. 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 and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.

Last weekend at ISM Raceway near Phoenix, Suárez had a tough qualifying session which relegated him to a 28th-place starting spot. As the Mustang driver was working his way forward in the 500-kilometer race, an electrical issue plagued the No. 41 team, causing Suárez to lose multiple laps that he was never able to regain. Even though the record book shows a 23rd-place finish, the No. 41 team continued on its path to gel and provides a solid racecar each week.

Suárez has two Cup Series starts at the 2-mile Fontana oval. In March 2018, he earned both his best starting position of 10th and his best finish of seventh. The 2016 Xfinity Series champion also has two starts in that series at Fontana. In March 2016, he earned the pole position and went on to lead four laps and finish fourth.

Fontana is the first 2-mile track on the schedule this season with the new rules package implemented. “Restarts were pretty crazy the last two weekends at Atlanta and Phoenix,” Suárez said. “They’ve always been a little crazy at Auto Club, so I can only imagine how they’re going to be this weekend with the new rules package. The fans are going to enjoy it, that’s for sure.”

Suárez climbed behind the wheel of the No. 41 Ford Mustang for the first time this season in a Goodyear tire test at Fontana January 9 and 10. It was also the first time Suárez had a chance to try out the 2019 rules package.

Before hitting the track this weekend at Fontana, Suárez will tour Haas Automation’s headquarters Thursday with SHR team co-owner Haas. Suárez who grew up working on cars in his father’s restoration shop in his native Mexico has an affinity for CNC machines. “I went and toured the Roush Yates engine shop and spent hours in there just looking at everything and all of the Haas CNC machines they use to build everything for engines,” Suárez said. “I was like a kid in a candy store, so I’m really excited to go to Oxnard and see where Gene builds the machines.”

This weekend, fans will have the opportunity to view Suárez’s perspective from inside the Haas Automation Mustang courtesy of Coca-Cola, which is sponsoring his in-car camera for this weekend’s event. Additionally, there will be 500 “Daniel’s Amigos” in the grandstands Sunday, supporting the Monterrey, Mexico driver. “Daniel’s Amigos” is a fan-focused movement to engage and celebrate with Latino NASCAR fans.

Daniel Suárez: Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

You’re four races in to the season. How do you feel things are going with your team? 
“The expectations are high and we’ve had fast racecars, but for one reason or another we’ve had things happen. Qualifying and track position are more important than ever. We’ve been putting so much time into our qualifying plans because it is so important to get a really good starting spot and a good pit stall. We’ve had a lot of speed in the cars, but that hasn’t translated over to results. We had the electrical thing at Phoenix and, before that, we had some pit-road issues, so we have a couple of things to clean up. We’ve had top-10 cars the entire year, but we haven’t had those results every week.” 

What do you enjoy about going to Fontana? 
“Fontana is a fun race for me. We don’t get to race in Mexico, so Fontana is one of the closer tracks to home for me. A lot of Hispanic fans come to the race and it feels really good to see a lot of Mexican flags in the stands. I know when I see them exactly who they are supporting.” 

Out of all the racetracks out West, which one is your favorite? 
“I like Phoenix a lot, but Fontana it my favorite. It is just so different from everywhere else we go. You get into the corner and it’s a super-wide race track compared to the other tracks we go to. We go into the corners on restarts four-, five-, or six-wide. It’s just incredible.”  

No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang Team Report
Race 5 of 36 – Auto Club 400 – Fontana
 Car No. 41: 

Haas Automation Mustang Team Report
At Track PR Contact: Lauren Emling with True Speed Communication (    
Primary Team: 

Driver: Daniel Suárez
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

Car Chief: Tony Cardamone
Hometown: Bristol, Virginia

Engine Specialist: Evan Cupples
Hometown: Hudson, Illinois

Crew Chief: Billy Scott
Hometown: Land O’ Lakes, Florida
Engine Builder: Roush Yates Engines
Headquarters: Mooresville, North Carolina

Spotter: Tony Raines
Hometown: LaPorte, Indiana

Over-The-Wall Crew: 

Fuelman: Rick Pigeon
Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont

Carrier: Tyler Bullard
Hometown: King, North Carolina

Jackman: Matt Schlytter
Hometown: Ponte Vedra, Florida 

Front Changer: Josh Leslie
Hometown: Mount Clemons, Michigan

Rear Changer: Michael Johnson
Hometown: Andover, New York

Road Crew: 

Transporter Driver: Eddie DeGroot and Larry Lush
Hometowns: Baldwinsville, New York, and Waynesville, North Carolina, respectively

Shock Specialist: Aaron Kuehn
Hometown: Kensington, Connecticut
Mechanic: Nick McIntosh
Hometown: Havre, Montana
Interior Mechanic: Kyle Anderson
Hometown: Jewell, Iowa
Tire Technician: Thomas Gagliano
Hometown: East Hampton, Connecticut
Engineers: Scott Bingham and William Lee
Hometowns: Lawrenceville, Georgia and Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, respectively

Mechanic: Joe Zanolini
Hometown: Sybertsville, Pennsylvania 
Auto Club Speedway Notes of Interest:

This weekend’s event will mark Suárez’s 77th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his third Cup Series start at Auto Club Raceway in Fontana, California.

 Suárez has an average Cup Series starting position of 20 and an average finishing position of 15 at the California track.The Haas Automation driver also has two Xfinity Series starts at the 2-mile oval, which includes a pole position and a best finish of fourth, both earned in March 2016.
 Suárez will sign autographs at the SHR merchandise hauler Sunday beginning at 8:45 a.m. PDT.

Also Sunday, Suárez will participate in a Q&A with WWE star Rey Mysterio Jr., at the Viva La Fiesta stage located in the fan midway at 9:20 a.m. PDT. Veteran crew chief Billy Scott, led the No. 41 team to one win at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, six top-five and 22 top 10 finishes, and five pole awards in 2018.


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