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Daniel Suarez
(Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

ARCA Graduate of the Week: Daniel Suárez turns in strong NASCAR All-Star performance

Last weekend was a strong one for several graduates of the ARCA Menards Series platform with stout performances in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway.

Although he did not end up in Victory Lane in the main event, 30-year-old Daniel Suárez had a career day on Sunday. He led the final 10 laps to win the All-Star Open at Texas, granting him a starting position in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race.

From there, Suárez and a fellow ARCA platform graduate, his spotter Frankie Kimmel, navigated chaos from the back of the pack. After starting 23rd, Suárez expertly weaved his way through several accidents and raced his No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet into contention. He crossed the line fifth, an impressive run from the back of the pack.

Daniel Suarez
Daniel Suárez celebrates winning the New Smyrna 150 presented by JEGS for what’s now the ARCA Menards Series East on Feb. 16, 2014, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. (Photo: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

This marks a continuation of the strong performances Suárez and his team have shown throughout the Cup Series season. Suárez finished fourth at Auto Club Speedway in March after fighting for the lead in the final handful of laps. He followed that with another fourth-place run at the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Suárez this year has also racked up top-10 finishes at Phoenix Raceway and Darlington Raceway.

After showing promise in the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, including 10 trips to Victory Lane, the Mexican driver’s first laps in a stock car in America came in what’s now the ARCA Menards Series East and West. Suárez started seven East Series races in 2011 with a best finish of fifth at Columbus Motor Speedway. His first win came at Columbus in 2013, when he defeated Cale Conley, Dylan Kwasniewski, Ryan Gifford and Brandon Gdovic in a field that also included Brett Moffitt, Kenzie Ruston, Ben Kennedy, Jesse Little, Gray Gaulding, Cole Custer, Matt Tifft, Scott Heckert and Sam Hunt.

Suárez finished third in the 2013 East Series standings, the only year he ran a full season.

In 2014, Suárez started 14 of the 16 races with wins in the first two races of the year at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway and then again two days later at The Battle at the Beach, a temporary short track that was built on the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway.

In 2015, Suárez transitioned into the NASCAR Xfinity Series full-time with eight top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. He finished fifth in the final standings and earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award. He followed with three wins, 19 top fives and 27 top 10s in 2016, carrying him to the series championship.

Suárez’s move to the Cup Series came in 2017. So far, he has accumulated 192 starts with 11 top-five finishes and 40 top-10 finishes as well as two poles at his current level. His best Cup Series finish, second at Pocono Raceway in 2018, came after starting from the pole and leading 29 laps, finishing just 1.7 seconds behind then-teammate Kyle Busch.