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Daniel Suarez has signed for Stewart-Haas Racing and will replace Kurt Busch at the NASCAR Cup series team for 2019.
The 27-year-old has spent the last two seasons in the Cup series with Joe Gibbs Racing after winning the Xfinity series with the same outfit in 2016.
But the closure of the Furniture Row Racing squad, which JGR is affiliated to through a technical alliance, meant Suarez lost his seat in order for JGR to sign 2017 Cup champion Martin Truex Jr for ’19.
While Suarez’s options appeared limited at first, he was soon linked to a drive at SHR.
The SHR team was the class of the field in 2018, winning 12 of 36 races, and all of its four drivers won races during the season.
“This is the best birthday present I could ask for,” said Suarez. “We’ve all seen how competitive Stewart-Haas Racing is – all of their drivers won last year and all of them advanced deep into the playoffs.
“This is the opportunity every driver wants, and now I have it.
“I want to deliver for this team, our partners in Haas Automation, Arris and Ford and, ultimately, for me.
“We have everything we need to be successful.”
Team co-owner Gene Haas added: “We’re in racing to win and we believe Daniel Suarez can win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“Haas Automation is a global brand and our success is directly attributable to how we’ve leveraged the Haas name in racing.
“We use motorsports to showcase our latest technology and to attract the best talent in engineering and design.
“Daniel allows Haas Automation to strengthen its ties to the Mexican community by racing the #41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang.”
SHR co-owner Tony Stewart pointed to Suarez’s junior record, in which he became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR National series race and took an Xfinity title.
“In each series Daniel has raced in, he’s advanced quickly from rookie to race winner,” said Stewart.
“In four years, he went from the [fourth tier] K&N Series to the NASCAR Cup Series. In between, he won an Xfinity Series championship, and he did it all while learning a new language and a new culture.
“He’s dedicated, he’s talented and we’re proud to have him as a key part of our race team.”
Suarez completes SHR’s four-driver Cup lineup with Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola.
Leading NASCAR team line-ups
Stewart-Haas Racing: Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez
Joe Gibbs Racing: Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin
Penske: Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney
Chip Ganassi Racing: Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch
Hendrick Motorsports: Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, William Byron, Alex Bowman
Richard Petty Motorsports: Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr
Richard Childress Racing: Austin Dillon, Daniel Hemric
Roush Fenway Racing: Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr