No. 99 CommScope Chevrolet driver Daniel Suárez is a little more excited than normal for this weekend’s visit to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
Not only will the NASCAR Cup Series race Saturday and Sunday in the season’s only scheduled doubleheader, but the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track is one of his favorites.
Suárez’s first of two career poles came at Pocono in July 2018, the same weekend he finished in second-place for his best career finish.
He also owns three top-10 finishes.
He will call on that experience this weekend because drivers and teams will start Saturday’s and Sunday’s races with no practice or qualifying.
Suárez arrives in Pocono after a seventh-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway. It was his second best finish of the season.
NBCSN will broadcast Saturday’s race at 3 p.m. and Sunday’s race at 3:30 p.m.
Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 99 CommScope Chevrolet Camaro
What are your thoughts on Pocono?
“It was cool to get the pole there in 2018 and then we finished second in the race that weekend. At Pocono, it always helps to have a good starting spot. Pocono is a track where you can’t make mistakes on the track, and you can’t have mistakes on pit road. Everyone has to do their part to execute perfectly. “
What do you feel is most important to be successful at Pocono?
“Track position is extremely important every weekend, but it’s especially important at Pocono. If you make a mistake, it takes so much longer and is so much harder to recover from. It’s a tough place for sure.”
Last weekend in Nashville, Trackhouse owners Justin Marks and Pitbull visited the media center to talk about Trackhouse Racing and NASCAR.
Pitbull on using Trackhouse Racing and NASCAR in education: “We opened our first charter school in Miami, Little Havana, one of my old neighborhoods, that was eight years ago. We put a NASCAR car in front of it. A friend of mine happened to be connected with NASCAR, and just parked it outside.When the kids, that come from all different neighborhoods with Miami being a melting pot, they saw that NASCAR car and it’s like they saw a spaceship.
“So right there, I saw the disconnect on, ‘Wow, there’s a community and there’s a culture that really has no clue what this world is about,’ but yet it’s an amazing opportunity. Our school is called SLAM!, which stands for sports, leadership, arts, and management. And that’s about teaching these kids how there’s another world in any world they may be in love with. All kids want to become a pro athlete. All kids love sports. But we teach them if you love sports, you might be a physical therapist. You might be an agent. You might be an attorney. It’s the same thing with NASCAR. You might not be the driver, but you might end up in the crew or as an owner or as an engineer. You might end up being the one styling the car. There are so many ways to bridge that.”
Justin Marks on grading his Trackhouse Team in 2021: “I’m very proud of all the work that our guys have done. They’ve all earned A’s so far. This is a very difficult industry and a very difficult racing series, the most competitive form of racing in North America. For a group of young guys, our guys are young, we have very young race team and they’re very hungry.
“And they all come from forms of racing where they’ve won, and so they don’t know how to lose. They’re not thinking like we’re a new team and maybe we should be running 20th. No, they’re coming to the race track to figure out how to win the race. But they’re great at managing their expectations, too. We all know that this is a big fight. I’m really proud of those guys. We’ve been bringing great race cars to the race track this year. Daniel has been doing a great job. We’ve been very careful to make sure that our expectations and definition of success the first year is not in finishing positions first and foremost. It’s about getting better every week. It’s about working together and powering each other and lifting each other up and working very hard to try to make big things happen. And they’ve been doing that every week. That’s the most important thing for us this year because we’re all dealing with new equipment next year. This year is about the process and dialing in the process so we as a team, cohesively can enter the future together. I’m really proud of all of them.”
CommScope, a global leader in network connectivity, makes its sixth appearance on Suárez’s race car in 2021.
This marks the seventh year of CommScope’s support for Suárez. The Monterrey, Mexico native notably stands out as the only foreign-born national series champion in NASCAR history with his 2016 Xfinity Series title.
CommScope’s support of NASCAR extends to the technology side, deploying wired and wireless connectivity solutions in numerous racing venues and stadiums, including the Daytona International Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.
Notes of Interest
In 2016, Suárez became the first Mexican driver to win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, claiming three victories at Michigan, Dover and the championship finale at Homestead-Miami.
Suárez owns 84 Xfinity Series starts posting three wins, 33 top-five and 55 top-10 finishes.
Suárez owns 28 Camping World Truck Series starts posting a win (Phoenix, Nov. 11, 2016) 10 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.
In the Cup Series, Suárez owns two poles (Pocono, July 16, 2018), (Kentucky, July 12, 2019.)
Trackhouse co-owner Justin Marks competed in six Cup Series races with a best finish of 12th-place in the 2018 Daytona 500. He made 35 starts in the Xfinity Series posting a win, three top-five and seven top-10s. He won the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 13, 2016 driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Marks competed in 38 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series posting four top-10s and capturing two pole awards. He joined four co-drivers in winning the 2009 Rolex 24 in the GT division.
Before turning a wheel, Trackhouse Racing became one of the more popular teams in NASCAR when it announced GRAMMY® Award-winning global superstar Pitbull had become a co-owner. Not only will he serve as an active partner on the Trackhouse executive team, but Pitbull also serves as a brand and philanthropic ambassador. Together, Marks and Pitbull will foster the launch of a racing-themed STEM curriculum within the SLAM! (Sports Leadership Arts and Management) inner-city charter schools — which Pitbull helped establish seven years ago.
No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Crew List
Owner: Justin Marks, Rocklin, California
President: Ty Norris, Sumter, South Carolina
Driver: Daniel Suárez, Monterrey Mexico
Crew Chief: Travis Mack, Louisville, Kentucky
Car Chief: Clay Alexander, Franklin, Tennessee
Spotter: Frank Kimmel II, Jeffersonville, Indiana
Engine Builder: ECR Engines, Welcome, North Carolina
Fueler: J.P. Kelley, Luray, Virginia
Rear Tire Changer: Chris McMullen, Canton, Michigan
Front Tire Changer: Ira Jo Hussey, Manchester, New Hampshire
Jackman: Courtney Edmonds, Burlington, North Carolina
Tire Carrier: Lamar Neal, Virginia Beach, Va.
Engineer: Jose R. Blasco-Figueroa, CDMX, Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico)
Engineer: Eric Smith, Joliet, Illinois
Tire Specialist/Interior: Dillon Morley, Moline, Illinois
Mechanic: Griffin Rider, Lawson, Missouri
Mechanic: Andy Seuss, Hampstead, New Hampshire
Truck Driver: Dennis Valverde, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Truck Driver: Michael Brookes, Marion, Ohio
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!