DAYTONA BEACH, Fla — Daniel Suarez isn’t going anywhere. Not that he truly ever was. It’s just that Suarez didn’t have a deal in place for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season yet. Trackhouse officials never wavered in their comments that they’d get a deal done. They valued Suarez and expected a new contract between the two sides to be reached.
On Friday from Daytona International Speedway, they announced a deal has been made. Suarez will remain in his seat of the No. 99 Chevrolet.
The thing I question is, why is this a one year deal? Suarez notes that he’s hoping to maybe get higher compensation if the teams get a larger chunk of the TV money pie when that deal gets announced next season. So he’s betting on himself in a way.
However, was a multi-year deal on the table? That’s my main question on this and if not, why?
Suarez is deserving of a multi-year deal with job security. He’s not had that since his rookie season at JGR. His 2nd year with them was his final year of his contract. SHR was a 1 year deal. So was the one with the Gaunt Brothers. So has all his Trackhouse deals now.
With this being a career year for the Mexican driver, I just wonder why not finally enjoy it and not have to worry about his immediate future for a change? Suarez noted that he expects next year’s negotiations to be similar to this one so it doesn’t really both him.
Still, what happens if he somehow struggles and Ross Chastain doesn’t? In a crowded free agent class with some past series champions, Suarez could in theory have to take a pay cut. On the flip side, with a free agent class that’s coming and if Suarez runs really well, he could get paid handsomely too.
This season, Suarez notched his first career win back at the end of June in Sonoma as well as scoring 6 top 5 finishes and 10 top 10’s. His previous career highs were 4 top 5’s and and 11 tp 10’s in 2019, his lone season at Stewart-Haas Racing.
Suarez was never given a fair chance until Trackhouse so he says he owes the team a large amount of gratitude.
A year after a championship winning 2016 season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to where he won 3 times had 19 top 5 finishes and 27 top 10’s, Carl Edwards abruptly retired in January of 2017. Arris and Suarez moved up to fill the seat in the No. 19 Toyota.
It was too early. He had only made 68 Xfinity Series starts prior and only 27 Truck Series starts. Now he was a Cup driver and had less than a month to prepare for it.
So he naturally struggled. Suarez had only 1 top 5 and 12 top 10’s in his rookie campaign. He led 40 laps. A year later he improved to 3 top 5’s but dropped in the consistency category going from 12 top 10’s to 9. He also only led 35 laps that season.
So he was quickly let go which landed him in 2019 at SHR. That was short lived. In just 1 season there, he had 4 top 5’s and 11 top 10’s with 166 laps led. He was replaced by Cole Custer.
2020 was with the Gaunt Brothers before moving to Trackhouse in 2021. They brought him back in 2022 and now he’ll be back again in 2023.