Daniel Suarez: Right Time, Right Place

suarez_nxschamp_011117 Right now, I’m furiously searching for the phone number of Daniel Suarez. I want him picking my lottery numbers. Talk about being set up to succeed, he will never to question whether or not he got a fair shake.

He won’t have to worry about financial resources. Joe Gibbs Racing and underfunded don’t go in the same sentence. With crew chief Dave Rogers, Daniel Suarez has one of the best in the business agonizing over pit strategies and car set-ups. Great coaches got where they did because they were smart in surrounding themselves with great talent. Joe Gibbs wasn’t a Hall of Fame NFL coach by accident. He’s parlayed that skill into building a first class NASCAR team.

Don’t get me wrong, Daniel Suarez earned his shot. The 25-year old was a winner in Mexico, he was a winner in the Xfinity Series. JGR isn’t exactly rolling the dice here. It’s been a gradual climb to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for the native of Monterrey, Mexico. From karts to mini stocks to the NASCAR Mexico Series to the K&N Pro Series to Xfinity, he’s been a winner every step of the way. Remember “Good luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”

Yes, there will be those that will criticize. Some will say this is a publicity stunt to show how “driverse” NASCAR is becoming. Others will point out he lacks experience. To paraphrase a sign that NBA legend Bill Russell had in his office when he coached the Seattle Super Sonics, “Experience doesn’t mean squat.” Experience really doesn’t make a winner. Either you are, or you’re not.

Daniel Suarez has earned his opportunity. Now, he needs to produce to stay. It took Joey Logano some time to prove he belonged, but by golly, he did it. Casey Atwood got his shot, and it didn’t work out. Racing is a meritocracy. If you demonstrate you’ve got the goods, you’ll stay. If you founder, it may not happen overnight, but eventually, you’ll either take your spot among the back markers as field filler, or you’re flat out gone.

Something tells this observer that the verdict will be swift on the matter of Daniel Suarez. Care to guess where money would go?