Sunday, Jun 26

Suárez To Race in Truck, Cup Series Dirt Races in Bristol Week of Preparation Includes Simulator, Dirt Track Testing, iRacing

Suárez To Race in Truck, Cup Series Dirt Races in Bristol  Week of Preparation Includes Simulator, Dirt Track Testing, iRacing NK Photography Photo

Daniel Suárez has a dirty little secret. He has never raced on dirt. He has never driven on dirt. And until Tuesday, he had never been to a dirt track. 

Yet, Sunday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in front of millions of fans, the 29-year-old native of Monterrey, Mexico will be asked to compete against veterans and experts in the discipline. 

So, Suárez and Team Trackhouse decided to go the extra mile and get extra dirty this week to properly prepare for Sunday's historic race that will air live on FOX at 3:30 p.m EST.

Trackhouse Racing announced Wednesday that Suárez will race the No. 02 Young's Motorsports Chevrolet in Saturday's Camping World Truck Series race airing live on FS1 at 8 p.m. EDT.

This will mark Suárez's 28th career appearance in the Camping World Truck Series and first since the Nov. 18 season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2016.

But that's not all.

Suárez also logged time on the racing simulator at Richard Childress Racing and spent Tuesday in street stock and late model cars at the Smoky Mountain Speedway in Marysville, Tenn. testing on the .4-mile dirt track.

He will also compete in the iRacing Pro Series Bristol dirt race Wednesday night. 

Suárez checking out the racing dirt Tuesday at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Marysville, Tenn.

Even though dirt racing will be a challenge, Suárez will bring a lot of momentum to the Tennessee track. Last Sunday in Atlanta, Suárez finished 17th after racing as high as fifth in the closing laps before a pit road speeding penalty slowed the best run of the season.

He also led his 17th lap of 2021 and the 10th-place finish in Stage 2 notched Trackhouse Racing's first ever bonus point.

Suarez will pilot the No. 99 Camping World Chevrolet on Sunday in what will surely be one of the highlights of the 2021 Cup Series season.


Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 99 Camping World Chevrolet Camaro

What will be the key to success at Bristol?

"I don’t know how to answer that. I have never been on dirt in my life so I’m not a dirt person. I grew up in Mexico and didn’t even know people raced cars on dirt! That’s wasn't an option when i was growing up. But, honestly, I'm super excited for the challenge.It will be interesting to see how things play out. I will have to put a lot of work in and try to get better at it quickly."

How big of a disadvantage will it be for you? 

"Even the guys who have raced on dirt before have never raced a Cup car on dirt. So its going to be a challenge for not just me but them as well. We will see how things play out. I think patience will play a huge role."

Could the key to Bristol success be throttle control?

“Yeah, and I think it’s going to be almost like racing in the rain. Like, you have way too much power. I was actually joking with my crew chief that probably the Bristol Dirt Race is probably going to be the only race of the year that I’m going to ask for less horsepower (laughs); because we’re going to have too much. We’re not going to be able to use it. We’ll see how things go. It’s going to be everything about patience, car control, and to survive because a lot of guys are going to be hitting each other. So, these cars are going to be very messed up by the end of the race.”

How do you prepare for racing on dirt this weekend. Will iRacing help Wednesday night?

“That’s a tough question. It always helps. (iRacing) is better than nothing. But in real life, it’s different. Maybe you can get sideways and maybe you can get a feeling, but the weight of the car you drive in a video game versus real life is completely different. Yeah, we’re going to have fun and we can practice a little bit there, but at the end of the day it’s going to be very different. Nobody knows what to expect. If somebody tells you what to expect I think they’re lying because nobody has been there, and nobody has had a stock car on dirt. It’s going to be interesting. It is going to be interesting to see how things work out. Everyone is getting experience the way that they can. Some drivers in Late Models and some in dirt cars and some in iRacing and simulators. But the real test is going to come when we get to the race track. Well find out how things go.”



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