News Analysis: Daniel Suarez moves to Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 41 car

What happened: The Daniel Suarez and Stewart-Haas Racing marriage was finally made official Monday after a lengthy period of negotiation and speculation. Suarez lost his ride at Joe Gibbs Racing when Martin Truex Jr. moved to the 19 car following Furniture Row Racing’s shutdown. Meanwhile, SHR had an open seat in its No. 41 car after Kurt Busch and sponsor Monster left for Chip Ganassi Racing. It apparently took months to finalize the sponsorship details with Arris, but Suarez and SHR are now moving forward. Haas Automation — the machine tools company of SHR co-owner Gene Haas — was listed as the sponsor ahead of Arris, and the photo distributed in the team’s news release has Suarez in a black Haas firesuit.

Photo: HHP/Harold Hinson

What it means: A lot went on behind the scenes on the business side, from Arris leaving JGR to Suarez bringing enough sponsorship with him to get the ride. Gene Haas, who has most of the input on the No. 41 car, told NBC Sports in September about the possibility of signing Suarez: “We’ve talked to him. He brings a different group of sponsors. Like anything else, it comes down to the bottom line. How much sponsorship are we talking? How much money does SHR get? How much money does the driver get? Those are the kind of typical things that can take awhile to iron out because everybody wants everything.” Clearly, he wasn’t kidding about the “awhile” part, as it’s now less than six weeks until the Daytona 500. But that’s how business is done in NASCAR these days, as sponsorship is much more complex than companies just slapping their names on the hood.

News value (scale of 1-10): Four. Being a ride with one of the top teams in NASCAR saves it from being lower. But everyone figured this was coming for soooo long that it’s not surprising — therefore the actual “news” part is lower than average.

Three questions: Can Suarez really pull a Joey Logano and break through for wins after leaving JGR? Will Suarez finish higher or lower than Busch’s No. 1 car at Ganassi this season? Haas has said it takes $20 million to run a good Cup team without the driver salary included — so how much money were Suarez’s backers ultimately able to bring in order to secure the ride over other potential candidates?

13 Replies to “News Analysis: Daniel Suarez moves to Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 41 car”

  1. SHR..seem to project young driver talent on par or better than any team out there. Great move!

  2. Good for Daniel. He brings diversity and the attention of younger fans. (My daughter being one) I have to wonder though if this is going to be a very scrutinized ride, and possible short lived, with a successful Cole Custer waiting in the wings.

  3. You have to wonder what made it take so long. Carlos Slim had professed his intention of continuing to back Suarez. To me, it does not make sense, which means there is probably a lot more to the story.

  4. Suarez did win the Xfinity title with JGR, but he has 3 career Xfinity wins.

    Logano won his first Xfinity race in his 3rd start. Logano won a total of 18 Xfinity races with JGR from 2008-2012.

  5. Suarez does not have the talent to have had the 19 JGR and now the SHR 41 but brings money. Unbelievable how a kid like Christopher Bell is still without a Cup ride while Suarez will likely get 4 or 5 different rides with Arris before he retires.

  6. “I want to deliver for this team, our drivers, our partners in Haas Automation, Arris and Ford, and, ultimately, for me. ”

    The above quote by Suarez was from another writer’s article. The mention of Ford as a partner makes me wonder if the Ford mention was just a token obligatory nod to the team’s manufacturer, or if Ford was somehow involved with this deal (such as potentially using Suarez in Ford marketing in Mexico or in the US Hispanic market), or if the Ford mention was something else.
    Regardless, I wish Suarez well (especially since he prematurely started in cup with the sudden retirement of Carl Edwards).
    Since the gestation period of this announcement was relatively long, it seems odd, to me, that I have yet to read (or have forgotten/ignored) any mention of Suarez’s SHR crew chief, particularly since Suarez previously mentioned having little input about the crew chief change last year (though, he had a crew chief change in both of his cup years at Gibbs).

  7. For me it is a good move. He is fast, young , talented and a big latin market back him off. I wish him the best of the licks and hope to see him winning races.

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