Seven races into the season and it feels like we are now three weeks into this Daniel Suarez is going to be NASCAR’s next big star talk.
Why exactly is Suarez who to date has one top-five and three top-ten finishes on the season being thought of so highly? Those numbers are hardly eye popping and given that he is just 14th in points suggests that there have been at a minimum 13 others who could be labeled as good or better than the 27-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico.
The part of the schedule we have reached has to be the biggest reason for optimism around Suarez who is coming off a 10th place run at Martinsville and a third place run at Texas.
A year ago in 2018 Suarez was 18th at Martinsville and 29th at Texas. He would follow those runs up with his best stretch of the season with a 11th at Bristol, a 10th at Richmond, another 10th at Talladega and finally a third at Dover.
But what does that all mean. Suarez stumbled at Kansas, Charlotte, Pocono Michigan and Sonoma after that stretch and by the time he had crashed out of the Daytona race in July was down to 20th in the standings a year ago.
Suarez cannot be judged simply by what he does in the next three or four races. Instead it’s a collection of those events coupled with a few 1.5 mile tracks, a triangle, a road course and a fast 2-mile track.
There is a bit of good news. Suarez was second in the second Pocono event last year, he was 11th the second time at Michigan, and was fourth at Watkins Glen.
Will Suarez be able to keep the momentum going or will the first year at Stewart Haas Racing end just like the last one did at Joe Gibbs Racing?