Suarez, the inaugural Mexican-born Cup Series victor, is currently participating in the non-points NASCAR Mexico invitational event that precedes Sunday’s Clash. Both series navigated the temporary ¼-mile paved oval for the first time on Saturday.
During a Fox Sports news conference at the Coliseum on Friday, Suarez emphasized the significance of the Mexico series’ participation this weekend.
“If there was no NASCAR Mexico, there would be no Daniel Suarez in the Cup Series,” he expressed. “This is a significant matter. Some grasp its importance, while others may not. However, I do, having been a part of it. This series is now on a grand stage.”
This is a stage that the 32-year-old native of Monterrey, Mexico, is delighted to be part of this weekend.
Suarez, who made his debut in NASCAR competition in Mexico in 2009 and achieved the distinction of becoming the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race in 2016, has been closely associated with NASCAR’s diversity initiatives in recent years.
Despite finishing a career-best 10th in the series standings in 2022 and securing his first Cup race victory, Suarez faced a setback, ending up in 19th place last year without a win.
Even though it’s an exhibition, Suarez is eager to resume racing in his No. 99 Chevrolet for the new season, featuring the addition of new crew chief Matt Swiderski, the former competition director at Kaulig Racing.
“Although we didn’t meet all our goals last year, I’m extremely excited about the new year,” Suarez shared. “We’ve worked extensively on the No. 99 during the offseason, and I’m eager to see where we stand. I won’t say too much, but I feel very optimistic. I believe all the hard work will pay off this year.”
Suarez acknowledged spending significant time with Swiderski since the crew chief change was announced, expressing his positive impression of Swiderski’s talent.
Suarez has been open about his admiration for the organizational team co-owner Justin Marks has been building since Suarez’s arrival in 2021.
In its relatively brief existence, Trackhouse has seen three drivers—Suarez, Ross Chastain, and Shane van Gisbergen—secure Cup victories. The team recently welcomed former Truck champion Zane Smith to its lineup, set to compete in 2024 with Spire Motorsports.
The organization has expanded further by entering Moto GP, fielding a two-rider team on Aprilia’s RS-GP.
With these additions comes heightened expectations.
“The company is expanding, and we’re hungrier than ever for victories and championships,” Suarez emphasized. “It’s crucial to have team members capable of performing and winning consistently. Trackhouse undoubtedly desires more, and we’ve put in the work during the offseason to elevate our performance.”