Daniel Suarez trying to find his place in Silly Season
RICHMOND, Va. — Daniel Suarez, expected to lose his ride at Joe Gibbs Racing after this season, says he has options but isn’t willing to reveal them.
Suarez is looking for a ride because reigning Cup champion Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn are expected to move to the No. 19 team with Furniture Row Racing closing operations after this season.
That leaves Suarez on the outside at JGR.
“I don’t really have anything good to say,” Suarez said after qualifying fifth Friday. “When you don’t have anything good to say, it is better not to say anything.”
Suarez removed a reference Joe Gibbs Racing from his Twitter profile this week. Asked about that Friday, Suarez laughed and said: “I’m a driver. I like my family. I like classic cars. That’s what I put in there.”
As for where he might race next year, Suarez said: “We’re talking to a lot of people. I’m sure good things will come our way.”
Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas said last week at Las Vegas that his team has talked to Suarez’s group about the No. 41 car. Kurt Busch’s contract expires after this season with the team, which creates the opening in the No. 41 car.
Reports have stated Kurt Busch could be headed to the No. 1 team at Chip Ganassi Racing and replace Jamie McMurray.
Another option for Suarez could be Leavine Family Racing. Kasey Kahne won’t return to the No. 95 after this season and car owner Bob Leavine has expressed an interest in aligning with Toyota.
One place that doesn’t appear to be an option is Roush Fenway Racing, which is expected to announce Saturday that Ryan Newman will join the team to drive the No. 6 car next year. Newman’s departure would create a vacancy with the No. 31 car at Richard Childress Racing after this season.
Suarez was encouraged by his run Friday at Richmond Raceway and optimistic about Saturday night’s Cup race (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).
“Definitely the best car I’ve ever had here at Richmond,” he said. “So hopefully I can take advantage of it (Saturday).”
If he can, he could score his first career Cup victory.
“We know we can do it,” Suarez said. “Not making the playoffs wasn’t good for us. We had way, way higher expectations than the job that we have done. We have had a lot of different issues though the year. Sometimes things don’t work out.”