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Trackhouse Racing President Criticizes Daniel Suárez and #99 Team for “Unacceptable Execution”

Ty Norris held nothing back in his brutal assessment of his driver and the team.

By Andrew Woodin
Close up of Daniel Suarez

After becoming the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race with his historic victory at Sonoma in 2022, Daniel Suárez motored his way into the playoffs in his first full season with Trackhouse Racing before securing a 10th place finish overall. By all accounts, the season was a grand success.

But that was 2022, and this is 2023 — and what a difference a year makes. Instead of progressing, Suárez regressed, so much so that his top-five finishes were cut in half, down from six to three. Instead of building on his impressive year where he led 280 laps, he held onto the lead for less than 50. Combine those stats with the fact that he produced six DNFs — which is two more than he did in the previous year and the same amount he had in his rookie (2017) year — and it’s easy to see how he plummeted from his top-10 rank to a disappointing 19th place for this season.  

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Now, whether the downward trend is an accurate depiction of a more ominous future ahead, the Cup Series road for the 31-year-old from Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico just became a little bumpier after his team president at Trackhouse Racing, Ty Norris, roasted Suárez and his team behind the No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Rftc Daniel Suarez3

What did Trackhouse Racing president Ty Norris say about Daniel Suárez's 2023 performance?

“We’re addressing a handful of things around that team, and the raw speed was there,” Norris said on the segment. “The execution this past year was way off. And that execution could have happened in adjustments. It could have happened on a pit stop. It could have happened on a choice on a restart. A lot of things. The execution this year on the 99 was unacceptable, quite honestly.”

“So, we have to address each one of those areas to improve because we just feel like... If you see that the things that rust are capable of winning races, then it has to come down to the execution and the human element, and we have to make sure we’re addressing each one of those areas to improve, and we’re doing so as a team, collaborating on all of those decisions," continued Norris.

Guided by his crew chief Travis Mack, Suárez and the No. 99 Chevy started the 2023 season well with three consecutive top-10 finishes, but he skidded to a halt in the next five, landing outside the 20th position in each event.

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“Ultimately, we do believe is that we can get back to the 2022-level performance with that team where we’re winning races, making the playoffs, and really, one mechanical failure away from making the final eight, and that’s a good year for the 99, and that’s something we need to get back to,” added Norris on the SiriusXM episode.

Suárez is the type of leader who always bears the brunt of his team’s poor performances, owning all aspects of a failure.

Daniel Suarez being interviewed

What has Daniel Suárez said about his 2023 performance on the track?

“We want to be a championship-contender kind of team,” Suárez said last month after the Cup Series finale, according to NASCAR. “We have more to do. We can win a race once in a while the way we’re operating, but that’s not my goal. I don’t work my butt off to win a race once in a while. I want to win a bunch of races and contend for a championship, so we have work to do, and this is not a secret. We know that. We have to get to work.”

Though Trackhouse Racing signed a pair of emerging, talented drivers in New Zealand-born speedster Shane van Gisbergen — who won the inaugural Chicago street race last year — and Zane Smith from the NASCAR Truck Series, Suárez remains every bit focused on his dream of reaching the lofty expectations he set for himself and his team and contend for a Cup Series championship.

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“Right now, the 99 team requires some attention, and we have to work on that,” Suárez added. “We have to clean up some things and be better. Obviously, there is a lot of other things going on within Trackhouse — Project 91, the third-car alliance and things of that nature — but I think that the team is capable of doing everything at the same time. We have to be smart and real about it too.”

“We can’t be in the position where we’re just hoping things to get better, because hope will only get us so far, so we have to get to work and be real about the issues that we have.”