Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Tuesday, to nobody’s surprise, that Carl Edwards will be joining the team in 2015. But this was not the only announcement by JGR. Daniel Suarez will also be joining the team to race a full Nationwide series in 2015, as well as a limited Truck Series Schedule.
So, who is this Daniel Suarez character? Let’s look at some quick bio-facts:
-Born: January 7, 1992 (22 years old)
-Place of Birth: Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
-began racing go-carts at the age of 11.
-made NASCAR Toyota Series (Formerly known as NASCAR Mexico Series) debut in 2010, winning Rookie of the Year honors. In 2013, he clicked off three wins in the series, finishing second in the point standings.
-ran a limited 2011 schedule in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2011. Running a full season in 2013, he secured his first victory at Columbus Motor Speedway (click here to see the Mexican flavored highlights), finishing third in the points.
-named to NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program in 2013.
Suarez made his Nationwide debut for JGR at Richmond earlier this year. He started 40th and worked his way up to finish an impressive 19th.
He decided to focus on stock car racing, as opposed to a formula racing career in Europe, a few years ago. He reasons:
“I had heard lots of comments from many people that NASCAR was working hard in the Hispanic market and that maybe that would be something good for me, so we made the decision to go here in the States.”
And now he finds himself with a ride on one of the best teams in NASCAR. He will have the benefit of being in the same organization as Cup champion Matt Kenseth, and multi-Sprint Cup race winners Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards.
He will have a lot to learn. But, so far, he has proven a winner in every stock car he has had the privilege of sitting in.
Only time will tell if he can do the same driving in the top stock car racing in the world.
But I, for one, hope he will flourish. NASCAR can always use more diversity, and the Drive for Diversity program has done a great job at recruiting the best drivers from outside the usual NASCAR driver crop (Kyle Larson anyone?).
I’m excited to see what this Suarez kid can do.
Finally, here is a video from Suarez giving himself his own introduction.