Opinion: SHR Should Pass On Daniel Suarez After Controversial Statement About JGR

Nigel Kinrade
LAT Images


Does Daniel Suarez deserve the chance of a lifetime?

While some sources are claiming that Daniel Suarez will be the one to replace Kurt Busch in the newly vacated #41 Monster Energy Ford, one has to wonder if he really deserves the honor after selling out his former team in an interview. Furthermore, one has to wonder if Suarez will just do the same if things don’t go his way at SHR or wherever he ends up, which could be a huge distraction and deterrent for teams looking to sign the young driver.

I never felt like I had everything to win. Lots of people changes, but I’ve never had a winning team. I moved from Mexico to the United States to win, not just to race. The JGR is a great team but I felt it was not my home, I felt it was not the place to be to win races and maybe, one day, the championship. There was something inside me that said I needed a change.”

Not only does Suarez’s initial statement sound ridiculous due to the fact that Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones all managed to win under The JGR banner during his time with the team, but also by the fact that JGR has even won a championship under the new format. If nothing Suarez’s comments sound down right delusional when you consider how successful JGR has been over the past few years and even how well their former satellite team, Furniture Row racing did in the same period of time as well

“When I went to the Cup Series it was very fast,” Suarez said during the interview with Motorsports.com,”  The team was not thinking about putting me in the Cup car that year (2017), but Carl Edwards was retiring. It was all very fast, “Two months after I got in, the crew chief left, the car chief left, engineers left, a lot of things changed and I did not like that This year, again, they changed many things and it was not for the better, I was not in agreement with all the changes. I talked a lot, I’m a very direct person in what I see and what I say. The staff took care of this, but I don’t know if they took care of it right.”

Although Suarez’ is somewhat justified in being upset about some of his key crew members leaving the team, that is no reason to lash out at his former team in the way he did.  Beyond it being extremely unprofessional to do so, it also shows that Suarez doesn’t handle change very well, which is something a driver needs to learn to adapt too. Finally, it shows that he is more than willing to throw his own team under the bus, which isn’t great for morale either.

With that being said, Stewart Haas Racing deserves a driver that can adapt to change, doesn’t blame his team for his own shortcomings and doesn’t act unprofessional when things don’t go his way. Think about it! If Suarez is willing to trash talk the team he won a championship with in The Xfinity Series after only two seasons at The Cup level, imagine what he is willing to say if things don’t go right when he steps into the #41 Ford in 2019.

In the end, its up to SHR what they want to do here, but there are so many more deserving candidates out there than Daniel Suarez that it hurts to watch such a prestigious make a mistake like this. It  also stinks when you consider that drivers like Trevor Bayne, Matt Kenseth and several others will be looking for rides in 2019, which is even more of a reason why Suarez should be passed over in favor of someone who is going to be a team player at the end of the day.






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