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Countdown to Daytona - 20 Days

(Cover Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By Adam Carabine

In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2023 Daytona 500. Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the 36 charters of 2022.

10th Place – Daniel Suarez – 2,269 pts


196 Races to Get His First Cup Series Win – It was an historic day in Sonoma, California when Daniel Suarez scored his first Cup Series win. Earlier in the week, NASCAR held a press conference to discuss their Drive For Diversity program. Three days later, Suarez was the first Mexican-born driver to score a win in the Cup Series. It may have taken him 196 tries, but it was a dominant performance, and Suarez showed that he’s got the talent to stick around for a while longer.

13 Top 10s in 2022 – It was a career year for Daniel Suarez in many ways. While he was unable to beat his best Average Finish, which he accomplished in his rookie year, basically every other category was a career-best. His 13 Top 10s were the best of his six-year Cup Series career. He also had the most Top 5s of his career, with six, and scored his first win. It was certainly a coming out party for Suarez and Trackhouse Racing.

1,740 Quality Passes in 2022 – What is maybe more impressive than the 1,740 Quality Passes that Daniel Suarez had in 2022 (aka green flag passes made in the Top 15), is how much he improved in this area from 2011. Not only did Suarez rank 13th of all Cup Series drivers in this category, but he surpassed his 2011 numbers by 1,117. That’s a heck of an improvement, second only to Erik Jones when comparing years.

280 Laps Led in 2022 – Tied with Chase Briscoe, Daniel Suarez led 280 laps in 2022, which was tied for 12th best among Cup Series charters. A career-high for Suarez, this shows that he’s moving in the right direction. There was a period of time when he was cut from Joe Gibbs Racing, and then subsequently lost his Stewart-Haas ride – many were saying that could be the end of his Cup Series career. He took a year in the No. 96 with Gaunt Bros, and proceeded to have the worst year of his career. It seemed he was destined to be a backmarker. Enter Trackhouse Racing who took a chance on him, and now look at him.

24 Lead Lap Finishes in 2022 – Tied for 15th among all Cup Series charters, Daniel Suarez finished on the lead lap 24 times. That’s an area that Suarez can improve upon moving forward, and he will be even more successful. It would seem that when Suarez had a bad day (and all drivers do for whatever reason, from time to time), it went particularly sour. He only had 3 DNFs, and so that means there were nine races that he finished, just not on the lead lap. It may have been a great year for Suarez in general, but he’ll want to tighten up and manage his bad days – that could lead to him being a true championship contender.

In August of 2022, it was announced that Daniel Suarez would be remaining with Trackhouse Racing for 2023. He will continue to pilot the No. 99 Chevy for Trackhouse alongside his teammate Ross Chastain, who drives the No. 1.

Coming up next in the Countdown to Daytona series – Chase Briscoe!

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