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Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

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20. Daniel Suarez

Thursday, December 27, 2018


As of December 27, the fate of Daniel Suarez was still uncertain. The only available ride at this stage of the season is the No. 41 of Stewart-Haas Racing and if that is where he lands, Suarez’s potential of making the playoffs is fairly high.

That means he should finish better in the points, but in his third full season of racing, however, his usefulness from a fantasy standpoint is going more selective.

He came out of the gates strong with Joe Gibbs Racing. Pressed into service early because of Carl Edwards’ abrupt retirement, no one would have been surprised if he had struggled. Instead, he scored two top-10s in the first four unrestricted races of 2017. During the summer, he went on a four-race, top-10 streak and earned his first top-five at Watkins Glen International. Most of his success has come on flat tracks and road courses.

Last year, more was expected of Suarez. Joe Gibbs Racing seemed to be the only team that could compete with the Stewart-Haas Racing Fords. Kyle Busch and the closely affiliated Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. joined Kevin Harvick as part of the Big 3, but the other Gibbs’ guys did not fare nearly as well.

Both in terms of seniority and production, Suarez was the low-hanging fruit when Furniture Row decided to shut down. Room had to be made for Truex, so Suarez had to go.

The scenario is quite similar to that faced by Gibbs and Joey Logano in 2012. He had also been pressed into service too soon because of the departure of Tony Stewart. Logano was released for Matt Kenseth and immediately went on to perform better in his new Team Penske ride.

Suarez has support from sponsors in his native Mexico. Whether that is enough to secure the SHR ride is not yet known, but do not discount the value of a driver who races with a chip on his shoulder.

Three Best Tracks
Watkins Glen (3.2 in 2 attempts)
Dover (6.8 in 4)
Charlotte (10.7 in 3)

Three Worst Tracks
Darlington (33.5 in 2)
Homestead (32.0 in 2)
Daytona (29.5 in 4)

Victories: None (Best finish = 2nd at Pocono II)
Top-fives: 3 (.083)
Top-10s: 9 (.250)
Top-15s: 16 (.444)

2018 Finishes at or above their rank? = 21 (58.3%)



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver


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