Daniel Suarez Fastest in Cup Happy Hour


Daniel Suarez, driver of the No. 41 Coca-Cola Ford Mustang, posted the fastest lap in today’s final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Suarez, who is looking for his first series victory, spoke to media members afterwards.

DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 41 Coca-Cola Ford Mustang – THIS RACE HAS A KNACK FOR FIRST-TIME WINNERS.  HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR CHANCES?  “I think we have a very good chance.  The number 41 Ford Mustang has been pretty quick and a couple of days ago I felt like we had a pretty fast car, we just didn’t have the car driving comfortable enough.  Today has been kind of like the same, where we’ve been just trying to chase the car to make the car drive better, but the speed has been there, which is something good.  The last couple of weeks I feel like we’ve been lacking a little bit of speed and a little bit of comfort with the car.  I feel like right now we’re very close to having both.  Right there at the end of last practice I was pretty happy with it.  I felt like we needed just a little bit more, but I feel like we’re heading in the right direction.”

IS THIS ONE OF THE BEST CARS YOU’VE HAD IN YOUR CUP CAREER?  “I will say one of the best for sure.  I feel like this year I’ve had some good race cars with an opportunity to finish in the top five and top 10, but I feel like this car has been pretty solid.  It’s fast and it’s not comfortable to drive 100 percent, but I don’t feel like anyone out there is comfortable right now, so it’s been sunny and hot and slick and that makes things a little bit more difficult, but overall my team has been doing a very good job with Stewart-Haas Racing and Ford Performance.  We have a good piece and hopefully we can take advantage of it tomorrow.”

WHAT ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF AN INDYCAR/NASCAR DOUBLEHEADER AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE?  “It’s a lot of fun.  This weekend is everything about racing starting with Formula One in Monaco and then Indy Car and then us, so it’s a lot of fun to be watching racing and to be racing at the same time.  For me, it’s a very fun weekend because I’ve got family and friends and we’re gonna do a lot of racing.”

THIS IS YOUR LAST HAPPY HOUR FOR A WHILE.  IS THAT A BIG CHANGE WHEN YOU DON’T GET IT?  “As a team we’re getting stronger and better.  Whatever system we get for the weekend – happy hour or no happy hour, impound or no – I feel like we’re gonna be fine.  We have fast race cars we just have to keep working on it.  The fastest race car from a month-and-a-half ago they’re not the fastest race car anymore today.   We have to keep learning and working on it and keep trying to find new things to be fast.”

YOU’RE INSIDE OF THE PLAYOFF CUTLINE NOW.  HOW MUCH DOES THAT MEAN AND HAVE YOU STARTED LOOKING AT YOUR PLAYOFF SITUATION?  “I haven’t even looked at the championship standings in several weeks, but I will tell you that it’s way different.  It’s a good feeling to know you’re in the Playoffs and in the top 16.  We’ve been running good.  The car has been solid and fast most of the time.  Sometimes it hasn’t been very fast, sometimes we’ve just been fast and we’re consistent.  I’m just very proud of my team.  I feel like we have a good future ahead of us.  We just have to keep working and keep learning and I know that victories will come.”

HOW WILL THE HEAT PLAY A FACTOR IN THIS RACE?  “This race is tough for that reason because we start with a sunny race and end under the lights.  It’s a big, big swing, so it’s very important just to know the race track is gonna change and the race is gonna change by itself.  We have to keep that in mind and hopefully we have a solid day tomorrow.”

ARE YOU FRIENDS WITH ANY INDY CAR DRIVERS?  “Yeah, I have a couple of friends over there and it’s gonna be a lot of fun to watch.”

WHO ARE THEY?  “First of all, the number one is Patricio O’Ward.  He’s a good friend of mine.  He’s from my hometown.  This is his first year in Indy Car and unfortunately he didn’t make it this time for the Indy 500, but he’s a very talented driver and he’s gonna be very strong.”

SINCE THE REPAVE HERE THE CHARACTER IS STARTING TO COME BACK.  WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING AREA FOR YOU?  “Three and four is very challenging.  It’s very bumpy.  The car doesn’t go anywhere you want the car to go.  It’s a tough place.  It’s getting rougher and rougher and that gives the track more character and to make things a little more fun.”

SOME DRIVERS SAID TURN THREE IF ONE OF THE TOUGHEST IN NASCAR.  WOULD YOU AGREE?  “It’s pretty tough.  I’m not sure if it’s one of the toughest in NASCAR, but it’s pretty tough.  It’s just very bumpy.  You never know what the car is gonna 

Campbell Marketing & Communications for Ford Performance

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