Daniel Suarez Admits Departure of His Crucial Member Made His Career “Even More Difficult”, Pinning the Blame on Inconsistency

Published 01/25/2024, 8:00 AM EST

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Trackhouse Racing has made large-scale changes going into 2024. Following Shane van Gisbergen’s and Zane Smith‘s signings, the team has also renovated the crew structure for one of its teams. Two weeks back, the Justin Marks-owned side announced a crew chief swap with allies Kaulig Racing. Daniel Suarez’s No.99 Chevrolet will now be led by former No.16 team crew chief Matt Swiderski.

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With a significant change in dynamics and approach to races, Daniel Suarez might take some time to adapt to the change in instructions. The Mexican driver spoke about the same on the NASCAR Live podcast. Addressing the #99 team’s failures in 2023, Suarez pointed out the cracks in his armor and reiterated his dynamic with former crew chief Travis Mack.

Daniel Suarez addresses the #99 team’s mistakes from last season

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The 2016 Xfinity Series champion spent most of the 2023 season battling for a better finish than what he was securing. With the playoffs in sight, Suarez came close to securing it with a win on some occasions. Road course races like Chicago were unsurprisingly his best performances in 2023. However, for some reason, the team couldn’t exceed a certain threshold and, as a result, finished 19th eventually. Missing the targets implied a change in personnel, and crew chief Travis Mack departed from the team.

Mack will serve as the crew chief for the No.16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet while also acting as the team’s technical director. While it has set the former No. 99 crew chief on a different path, it has also left Daniel Suarez in a dilemma.

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“You know, I love Travis. He’s a great friend, and I love working with him,” stated Daniel Suarez.We are good friends, and this made it even more difficult. It is because we got along very well. With that being said, if you look at our results from last year, I’m not surprised. The reason is we didn’t perform that well. I’m not saying that he was a problem.”

“If either of us was getting fired we wouldn’t have been surprised. Last year, the performance was not there. We were very inconsistent and had little issues here and there. The team was eventually going to push for something. What that change was going to be? We never knew. But yeah, I wasn’t 100 percent surprised.”

Daniel Suarez ended the season with three top-5s and ten top-10s, which wasn’t enough to secure him a place in the top 15 drivers. With a change in crew chiefs, the No.99 team will undergo an experimentation phase. Swiderski and the team will be looking to cover the gaps that they couldn’t last year. With the equipment, Swiderski could perform wonders, and Daniel Suarez also seems to have complete faith in him.

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The Mexico-born driver can’t wait to race with his new crew chief

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Matt Swiderski’s former team was a well-oiled machine, the No.16 of Kaulig Racing. Despite not qualifying for the playoffs, they continuously challenged for it and even took home a win at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Allmendinger was also free to be himself on his preferred road courses. While the victory came too late in the season, a similar result could have put Swiderski into playoff action.

As for his new driver, Daniel Suarez, he can produce even better results. With an eye for a creative approach to races, Swiderski can be a great asset to Trackhouse Racing. Commending Travis Mack for a job well done with the #99, Daniel Suarez expressed his anticipation for the 2024 season as he said,

“At the end of the day, I think he is going to do very well as a colleague and also Matt. He is very excited to start in the new role. He has new goals. He is hungry and a very smart guy. I can’t wait to see what he can do.”

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With the essential sponsors lined up and promising additions to the driver roster, Trackhouse Racing and Daniel Suarez are surely all geared up to deliver in 2024.

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Written by:

Ansuman Abhisek

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Ariva Debnath

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