AVONDALE, Ariz. — Rookie Daniel Suarez is now headed to the Cup Series after winning the Xfinity Series championship.
He isthe first foreign-born champion of the National Premiere Touring Series, walking away with the 2016 Xfinity Series Cup and earning nine wins in both the NASCAR Series and Xfinity Series.
He joined the group that includes the likes of Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano at the Phoenix International Raceway on Tuesday, driving a Cup Series car.
Suarez was already a race car driver at the age of 17. He started his career joining races inMexico in 2002, and he became a champion in the Pilot Edition of the NASCAR MEXICO Series in 2010.The following year in the Xfinity Series, he joined Joe Gibbs Racing and captured the unprecedented Rookie of the Year award. Soon after Edward’s departure and fresh from winning an Xfinity championship, he was promoted by Gibbs to the Cup Series in 2017.
It will be the first time that Suarez will be working with crew chief Dave Rogers and it will also be the first time that a rookie will be working with Rogers in the upcoming Cup Series. Wednesday will be the second day of tests at PIR. It isall about getting used to the car at first and finding more speed and balance comes next, according to Suarez.
As for the difference between the cars from each racing series,Suarez said that the Cup car has more power and is faster on straights but slower in the mid-corner. He really felt positive learning some stuff from the pros.
Suarez was having lunch with his family when he received a call from team owner Joe Gibbs, a call that would change his life forever. What he gained in his experience in the Xfinity series will benefit him well in the Cup series.