Notes: Suarez Feeling Wanted At Stewart-Haas Racing

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, February 15 2019
Daniel Suarez says his moved from Joe Gibbs Racing to Stewart-Haas has been a good one. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Ashley R Dickerson)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – During Daniel Suarez’s first season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the 27-year-old thought he would be at Joe Gibbs Racing longer than two years. But he realized during his second season that wouldn’t be the case.

“The second year it was extremely unstable,” Suarez said during Media Day at Daytona International Speedway. “I was expecting things I never got. A lot of changes and a lot of parts and pieces were moved around and I felt like something was missing and I didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t find it and they couldn’t find it, either. So we decided to part ways.

“Honestly, maybe six months ago I was pretty disappointed and down on things, but today, I can tell you, that maybe it was the best thing that could happen to me.”

Suarez said SHR felt like home in just a few months. He also likes team co-owner Tony Stewart’s involvement in racing.

“I’ve had a good relationship with Tony in the past, but now I get to talk with him more and getting to learn him more and that’s been extremely good,” Suarez said. “He’s a driver that happens to be a team owner and that’s something that I feel is a plus because he understands the position of the driver. He knows what the race car is lacking and I feel like it’s gonna be good. I see Stewart-Haas Racing as a big station with a bunch of real racers.

“I feel like there are very few drivers in the sport that are fortunate enough to be with a very good team like Joe Gibbs Racing and then transfer to another extremely good team like Stewart-Haas Racing. I’m one of those fortunate drivers.

Even though Kevin Harvick has a Daytona 500 victory on his racing resume, the start of the prestigious event is still special for the California native.

“When you flip the switch on Sunday, it’s not like flipping the switch anywhere else,” Harvick said Thursday night after his victory in the first Gander RV Duel. “When you come to the green flag, the hair stands up on your arms because you see the crowd. You know what’s on the line.”

NASCAR has a new team and Jeffrey Earnhardt is the driver.

Xtreme Concepts Inc., a worldwide leader in turnkey security solutions, announced Thursday at Daytona International Speedway that it has formed an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing that will allow Xtreme Concepts Racing to field its own race cars in two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and five Xfinity series races this year. The team will make its Xfinity Series debut March 30 at Texas Motor Speedway. Its Cup Series debut is scheduled for April 28 at Talladega Superspeedway.

XCI Racing’s other Xfinity Series events will be June 29 at Chicagoland Speedway, July 5 at Daytona, Aug. 16 at Bristol and Aug. 31 at Darlington. The team will wrap up its rookie season Oct. 13 at Talladega.

Landon Ash is the founder of Birmingham, Ala.-based Xtreme Concepts and the owner of XCI Racing. Ash said the team’s ultimate goal was to be a fulltime Cup team.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, February 15 2019
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