Suarez has won his initial 3 races this season
By: NASCAR Wire Services on March 13, 2014
NASCAR – Daniel Suarez has won his very first 3 races of the season in the NASCAR N&N East Pro Series. Could he be the following driver to make the leap to Trucks or Nationwide?
The story of NASCAR’;s hottest driver, K&N East Professional Series driver Daniel Suarez, would be extraordinary even if Suarez had not won his initial 3 races this yr — and 4 consecutive touring occasions dating back to final season.
Suarez, 22, didn’;t grow up idolizing Dale Earnhardt or Richard Petty or Jimmie Johnson. In fact, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, he by no means even knew NASCAR existed until finally he was 17.
Now, Suarez is en fuego … and on a track to stardom.
“In NASCAR, stars are exposed, not made, and he is a accurate star of the series,” says his crew chief Skip Eyler. “He has every single bit or far more prospective than the series champion last 12 months [Dylan Kwasniewski, who now races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series]. I think he has a far better come to feel for the race car, and he has no worry.
“I think he’;s a nicely-rounded candidate for the upper series. I don’;t know that he even demands to spend time in truck. With what he brings from a individual standpoint, a skilled standpoint as properly as being this kind of a nicely-rounded racer, I feel he has great prospective — and as he spends more time in the U.S., I believe it will only get better for him.”
A product of NASCAR’;s Drive for Diversity plan and at present driving the Sunoco Racing Fuel Toyota for Rev Racing in the K&N Pro Series East, Suarez has designs on following in Kwasniewski’;s path by racing in 1 of NASCAR’;s top series — probably the Nationwide Series — before the finish of 2014.
Foremost 222 of 300 laps in dominating victories at New Smyrna and Daytona to open this season, Suarez and Eyler will celebrate one particular yr collectively this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Following winning his 2013 Mexico Toyota Series finale to finish second in series factors, Suarez also won that series’; opener at Phoenix, producing him the only driver to simultaneously lead 2 NASCAR touring series considering that Kyle Busch led the Nationwide and Camping Globe Truck series early in the 2009 season. His following race in the Mexico Toyota Series will be April 5 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.
“Everything started out operating quite very good the 2nd half of final 12 months,” says Suarez, who entered 2014 with one particular victory and 15 best-10 finishes in 30 K&N begins. “The opportunity to once more drive in the Drive for Diversity program, our difficult perform and greater communication is paying out off. We have opened the season in the greatest way we can. I can not complain.”
It truly is all heady stuff for a kid whose concerted efforts to master the English language have coincided with his learning curve on the track. In reality, those about him acknowledge that Suarez’;s improved capacity to talk, in and out of the race vehicle, has been a key explanation for his quickly begin.
Eyler, a former Sprint Cup auto chief for Mark Martin and crew chief for multiple Cup drivers at Roush Fenway Racing, occurred to be studying Spanish with Rosetta Stone lessons ahead of he knew he’;d be teaming with Suarez.
“But it was not extended soon after I’;d met Daniel, I realized that he essential to speak ‘redneck’; English greater than I required to communicate Spanish,” Eyler said. “He didn’;t know what ‘redneck’; meant, but that is an example of the slang and phraseology people use.
“We needed to debrief far better. With a youthful person who has the upside potential of Daniel, we consider to aid them say the things they want to say to me as nicely as the things they will want to say at the subsequent degree. I also knew Daniel essential to know he could trust me and not be embarrassed asking about factors like pronunciations.
“For illustration, when we employed the word ‘patience,’; he would be saying ‘passion.’; I bear in mind telling him, ‘Dude, you are passionate about racing, but you need to have to be more patient.’; Then he laughs and punches me on the shoulder. He understands. It’;s fascinating, but that is a single of the ways you turn into buddies and understand to have that trust in somebody.”
Eyler says he “tears up,” when hearing stories about how Suarez, with aid from his mother and father and NASCAR’;s Drive for Diversity plan, has come so far, so fast in the U.S.
“I can’;t picture dropping a 21-year-previous son of mine into the middle of Mexico and saying, ‘Fish or reduce bait,'” Eyler says. “You need to have a particular maturity and self-assurance to be out there, and he appears extremely cozy.”
Despite the fact that it really is not terribly unusual for a driver in his early 20s to begin producing his mark in NASCAR’;s touring series, most commence their racing careers driving go-karts about the time they enter elementary college. Some advance in the sport thanks in portion to family ties or privileged upbringings.
Not so with the roots of Suarez’;s occupation.
“When I was 11,” Suarez recalls, “I did not know it existed to be a race-automobile driver. A extremely good pal invited me to view him race go-karts. A couple months later on, he invited me to race. He talked with my dad and informed him I was not so bad, so my dad purchased a go-kart and we commenced performing some races.”
Although never a racer, his father, Alejandro, acknowledged that his son had talent.
“When he was 13 and acquired running genuinely properly with the kart, he was commencing on the pole each week,” Eyler says. “So, his father created Daniel commence races at the rear of the area to find out vehicle control. He did not pout. He just accepted the challenge, and I know that produced him a better racer.”
Suarez’;s go-kart good results brought him an supply to compete on the open-wheel circuit in Europe about the same time the NASCAR possibility presented itself.
“To be sincere, when I commenced racing, my purpose was open-wheel,” says Suarez, who has moved to Charlotte, N.C., bringing him closer to his store but even more from his family, which incorporated his mother, Rosy, and 2 younger sisters. “NASCAR didn’;t exist in Mexico (hardly) at all. But right after I start talking with NASCAR, (I noticed) that the ideal drivers in the globe are right here. It’;s crazy how good they are.
“I knew they wished a Mexican driver to compete in NASCAR, and I’;m really happy that I created the determination. I really like what I’;m performing right now. I’;m thankful for my family members to assistance me all the time. This chance is tough to get, and I really come to feel fortunate to be one particular of those guys. I truly feel humble.”
The quick track at Bristol figures to existing an exciting check. Suarez has run at the substantial-banked half-mile twice, finishing 15th and 26th. But he says he likes the track, and he likes his probabilities to preserve his winning streak alive.
“The half-mile is the quickest in the planet, so I adore this track,” he says. “The 1st time we went, we struggled with suspension. Final 12 months, we had a difficulty with the engine (faulty oil line). But we have run good. I feel like we are great there. Small items make a difference. Correct now, our car is getting to the racetrack a lot more close to the setup we want.
“The only factor I’;m thinking about is striving to be competitive every single single weekend and hold the wonderful momentum we are carrying now. I believe I have a winning persona. I adore to win, and I always want to be the driver to beat.
“We know it is going to be extremely hard to win every single single race. But for positive, if I have a shot to win, I’;m going to take it. If not, we’;re going to run for the best 3 or, if we can, the best 5, so that we’;re even now including points to our championship (quest).”
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