After Carl Edwards announced he will step away from full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing, it was also made official that Daniel Suarez will take over the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the 2017 season and beyond.
On Wednesday at a joint press conference at Joe Gibbs Racing that saw one of NASCAR’s biggest stars step away from the sport and a young gun move up to the top level, Suarez shared his thoughts on what has been a whirlwind of an offseason.
“This is amazing. I wasn’t expecting to be in this position right now,” said Suarez. “It’s been an amazing time. This is just hard to believe that I’m in this position.”
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With the move up to Cup, Suarez will not run the full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule, but said he plans on participating in at least 10-12 races throughout the year, maybe more if sponsorship allows.
With no prior experience in a Cup Series ride, the Monterrey, Mexico native faces a steep learning curve as racing at Daytona International Speedway is just a little over a month away.
“I know it won’t be easy,” Suarez said. “I have a lot to learn, but I’m sure that it can happen with Dave Rogers and the entire No. 19 group. It’s just an amazing team. I feel like this is just a perfect place for a rookie like me. I’m just really hungry to learn and to go out there and perform well.”