NASCAR playoff drivers in trouble: No. 3 – Daniel Suarez
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Daniel Suarez appeared to turn a corner in his NASCAR Cup Series career during his second season behind the wheel of the No. 99 Chevrolet with Trackhouse Racing Team last year, earning his first career victory at Sonoma Raceway to qualify for the playoffs for the first time. He ended up advancing to the round of 12.
Suarez started the 2023 season hot, reeling off three straight top 10 finishes, but he has largely been a non-factor since, recording just two top 14 finishes in the next 13 events. At Sonoma Raceway, he only finished in 22nd place. That result is one of nine outside of the top 20 for him in those 13 races.
Fortunately for Suarez, he is only three points below the playoff cut line in 17th place in the point standings, but that is somewhat misleading. The driver he trails, Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman, missed three races with a fractured vertebra, and he was docked 60 points for a greenhouse violation after the race at Richmond Raceway.
In terms of average points scored per race, Suarez is nowhere near Bowman, coming in at nearly 10 full points behind. The next closest driver ahead of Suarez is 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace in 15th place. Wallace leads Suarez by 26 points.
For as strong as the up-and-coming Trackhouse Racing Team have been, they haven’t won a race now in over a year. That doesn’t bode well for the sport’s lone Mexican driver.