September, October and November are filled with opportunities for Daniel Suárez.
The closing months of the NASCAR Cup Series season will feature Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain racing for a championship and Suárez, his teammate, targeting race wins.
The race landscape will be varied, from the fast short track at Bristol to the Roval at Charlotte to the high banks of Talladega – and beyond. Suárez says the No. 99 team isn’t focused on an opportunity at a single track but rather finishing the season with opportunities at every track and showing improvement.
“I haven’t looked to races specifically,” Suárez said. “I have to put more work into my racing because we have things to clean up. We’ve been extremely inconsistent this year. We’ve had speed, but we haven’t been consistent. We’ve been very unpredictable, and we can’t win a championship like that.
“We just have to be better. We’re working very hard on that. If we can fix that, I know we can fight for wins. At this point I have to focus more on the 99 team than the race tracks. To make our team more consistent. It doesn’t matter where we go -- we have to be strong.”
Suárez said the Trackhouse situation isn’t an awkward one. Both the 1 and 99 teams have to perform.
“We have to build the best race car we possibly can,” Suárez said. “He (Chastain) is trying to win a championship, and I’m trying to win races. It’s always a difficult situation because everyone has different agendas. I’ve been on both sides of the table. You try to help, not to make things difficult. If he’s behind me and faster, I’ll let him go, but if we’re at similar speed we’re going to race.
“At this point of the season, everyone has different agendas and is fighting for different things. It’s part of racing. For the last month I was trying to make it into the playoffs. He helped me a little bit when he had the possibility. But he was racing for wins, as well. That’s racing. If you’re going to get hurt feelings because of that, you’re in the wrong sport.”
Suárez was crashed out of Sunday night’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, finishing 34th after 320 laps.