Tootsies and Trackhouse Racing Make Ready For Ambetter Health 400 At Atlanta Motor Speedway
Daniel Suárez arrives at Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday’s 400-mile race 11th in points after posting three top-10 finishes in the 2023 NASCAR Cup season’s first four races.
A key to Suárez’s and his No. 99 Trackhouse Racing team’s early season success is not only the 31-year-old Monterrey Mexico native’s performance behind the wheel but as a leader of his three-year-old race team.
In his six years of full-time Cup Series racing, the 2016 Xfinity Series champion has never raced more than two seasons with the same team.
He joined Trackhouse Racing when it was a single car, start-up team in 2021. It grew to a two-car team in 2022 after it purchased the NASCAR assets of Chip Ganassi Racing adding driver Ross Chastain. Trackhouse Racing won three races and both drivers scored career-best finishes in the season standings.
Just weeks ago, Suárez signed a multiyear agreement to remain at Trackhouse Racing. As he’s gone from young driver to team leader, he’s learned some lessons along the way.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot in how to be a better leader. I’m very tough to myself when it comes to my performance; the way I work, my discipline, and stuff like that,” said Suárez.
“Sometimes that was making me also be tough with other people. Sometimes being ambitious and really wanting something bad is a good thing, but if you’re not smart about it, it can be a bad thing. So I feel like I’ve grown a lot in the last 12 months about how to be better; how to be a better leader for my group. If we want to achieve this goal to get here, how we’re going to get here in a smart way and everyone pushing the train forward.”
He said success is the result of a group effort.
“I give a lot of credit to (driver coach) Josh Wise and a lot of people that have helped me in our group to be better. And I feel like it’s a continuous process. I don’t feel like I’m perfect right now, but I can guarantee you that I’m better than I was a year ago, and I hope that I’m going to be better in a few months than I am right now. I think myself, Justin Marks (owner), Ty Norris (team president), Travis Mack (crew chief), Tony Lunders (competition director) – I feel like we are continuing to get better and continuing to move forward.”
Suárez also points out that success is a result of everyone’s hard work.
“We have great people. My pit crew – last year in the first half of the season, we struggled a lot. And then in the second half, we had a lot of speed, but we were super inconsistent. Really my pit crew for this year is exactly the same group of guys and I feel like right now, I probably have one of the fastest pit crews out there. It’s everything about training, working together, and making sure that everyone knows that we have each other’s backs.”
There is no doubt Suárez is where he wants to be.
“I’m very happy where we’re at right now and I think we’re moving in the right direction.”
Suárez arrives in Atlanta with a great deal of optimism. Since its dramatic reconfiguration, the No. 99 team has posted sixth and fourth-place finishes on the 1.5-mile track. He’s just 25 points out of first and hopes to make up some ground this weekend.
Longtime sponsor Tootsie’s World-Famous Orchid Lounge, the legendary and historic honky-tonk in the heart of Nashville’s Lower Broadway entertainment district, will serve as the primary sponsor on Trackhouse Racing’s No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro for Sunday’s race as well as multiple races in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.
FOX will air Sunday’s race at 3 pm ET.