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In the Hot Seat with Daniel Suárez

Daniel Suárez is on the cusps of his breakthrough Cup win. (Photo: Sean Folsom | The Podium Finish)

Daniel Suárez is on the cusps of his breakthrough Cup win. (Photo: Sean Folsom | The Podium Finish)

By all means, Daniel Suárez is showcasing what he can truly do in a racecar this season. Although it’s only six races into the NASCAR Cup Series season, the 30-year-old Monterrey, Mexico native has the makings to be a consistent frontrunner capable of winning races for Trackhouse Racing.

Given the incredible odds and adversities that Suárez faced in his motorsports journey, it’s no surprise how much of a catalyst he has been for his team and for NASCAR with the Latino fanbase. Beyond his incredible talents behind the wheel of his No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro, he’s precise, candid and intelligent.

In his sixth season of Cup racing, Suárez has logged a couple of top fives and three total top 10 finishes heading into Sunday’s race at Richmond Raceway. More than that, he and his team approach this weekend with confidence based on their speed at Circuit of the Americas, or COTA, in Austin, Texas and the exciting victory scored by teammate, Ross Chastain, last Sunday afternoon.

A few years ago, these possibilities seemed a bit shrouded in doubt considering that Suárez raced for a team focused on building consistency and respectability over victories and championships. Car owners, Armando Christian “Pitbull” Pérez and Justin Marks, signed Suárez to their ride prior to the 2021 season with the intent of being genuine contenders.

Suárez is no stranger to being a winning racer given his championship season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2016. He’s battled the best in Mexico during his formative years as he climbed up the racing ladder.

Today, he makes a difference on the track and with the fanbase, whether with his part-time role as a FOX NASCAR analyst or his outreach with Daniel’s Amigos. Simply put, he’s the definition of being a man of the people as NASCAR’s diversity efforts progress.

Last Saturday, I interviewed Suárez in a “walk and talk” setting at COTA prior to Cup practice and qualifying. While he had to get going for other media obligations, he offered plentiful thoughts without overstating facts. Without further ado, it’s a fast “In the Hot Seat with Daniel Suárez” here on The Podium Finish!

Rob Tiongson : All right, Daniel, thanks so much for taking time with us with The Podium Finish and The Podium Finish Live! Now, you’ve been a catalyst and bringing in new racing fans with your efforts on the track with the No. 99 team.

What’s it been like to draw on these new fans from different marketplaces across the country like here in Austin, Texas?

Suárez is making his consistent presence known toward the front of the field. (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

Suárez is making his consistent presence known toward the front of the field. (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

Daniel Suárez : It’s been good. I love coming to Austin. Austin, one of the few tracks that we go in the NASCAR Cup Series that actually my friends and family from Mexico, they can just drive so it’s always a good time. Looking forward to see a lot of Mexicans on the grandstands with a lot of Mexican flags and have some fun.

Tiongson : Yeah, speaking of those fans, I mean, you’re a great ambassador with connecting with the Hispanic fan base with your group Daniel’s Amigos. How’s it like to interact with those fans and draw inspiration from them knowing that you’re getting ready for such an intense race weekend here

Suárez : Yea, it’s good. It’s been very good. We just had a Daniel’s Amigos event in Phoenix not too long ago. And it’s been a lot of fun, you know, be part of the program, being able to bring Latinos to a racetrack and making them feel welcomed. So, it’s always good.

Yeah, excited to be here. Like I said, there’s a huge opportunity to have a great crowd at tomorrow’s race and looking forward to that.

Tiongson : Speaking of I mean, you’re just like me, now you’re a journalist, because you got that role with FOX NASCAR and Race Hub. I mean, you called the race at Phoenix, which I thought was so fantastic. And I love how you were able to kind of bring in your culture within the NASCAR telecast.

How has it been like to work with Fox NASCAR and grow comfortable and confident sharing your insights with fans and also showcasing who you are as a person?

Suárez : Yeah, it’s been fun. You know, I enjoy it. I personally, I really enjoy it. I try to do it to have fun (and) to gain experience. I try not to do it too often because I really, you know, that’s not my main focus. My main focus is behind the wheel. But yeah, it’s been it’s been a good time.

Tiongson : Yea, let’s talk about your sparkling start to the season because you have been really on a tear this year with your teammate, Ross Chastain. How confident do you feel about your chances of scoring your much anticipated first Cup win this year?

Suárez : Oh, definitely. With our chances, we’re gonna win this year. There’s no question about that. The question is when and where? Hopefully, it’s tomorrow.

Tiongson : For sure. And last question for you is if there was a song from any genre that describe who you are best, what song would you choose and why?

Suárez and co-owner Justin Marks are on the right track. (Photo: Jonathan Huff | The Podium Finish)

Suárez and co-owner Justin Marks are on the right track. (Photo: Jonathan Huff | The Podium Finish)

Suárez : And I’m not great when it comes to songs. I only know a few songs by Pitbull. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know much about about songs. I wish I can answer that one better.

Tiongson : No worries. I’ll take that answer, for sure.

Editor’s Notes

Special thanks to Daniel for taking the time during a busy Saturday morning at COTA for this fast but quality interview. Also, thanks to Drew Brown at Trackhouse Racing for adding us to the team’s busy schedule. Look for more content about Daniel on TPF and follow his social media channels on FacebookTwitterInstagramTikTok and his official website!

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes. From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing. Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat. Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Journalism at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's an everywhere kind of man residing in Texas.

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