Daniel Suarez back at Trackhouse Racing next season

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daniel Suarez says he’s never been concerned about his racing future and insists he won’t be on the road despite signing a one-year contract extension with Trackhouse Racing for 2023.

Suarez made it clear on Friday that he was accepting a short-term deal with the belief that it could lead to long-term job security once NASCAR and its teams have more financial clarity once the racing series is over. entered into a new media rights agreement. The next agreement should be known by the end of next year.

“We decided to do it this way for now,” Suarez said. “In the same way that I wasn’t worried about this contract, I’m not really worried about next year either. … Trackhouse is my home now. They know that and we work extremely well together.

Suarez, 30, who joined Trackhouse ahead of its inaugural season in 2021, won his first race this year and is locked in the playoffs. He took the checkered flag at Sonoma Raceway in June, becoming the first Mexican-born driver to win the NASCAR Cup Series.

He said the parties have been talking about an extension ever since.

“I knew it was coming,” he said. “It was just a matter of time. I paid a lot more attention to the driving than anything else. It feels really good, but I knew for a while that it was going to happen.

The deal provides some stability for Suarez, who bounced back for the first four years of his Cup career. He started at Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017, joined Stewart-Haas Racing in 2019 and then landed at Gaunt Brothers Racing the following year.

Suarez currently ranks 12th in points going into the regular season finale at Daytona.

His contract is the latest in a series of team extension announcements, including Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney at Team Penske and Bubba Wallace at 23XI Racing.

Thunderstorms swept away practice and qualifying at Daytona on Friday, leaving Kyle Larson in pole position for the regular season finale.

Larson takes pole thanks to a formula that emphasizes last week’s finish; Larson won at Watkins Glen.

Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott, who was involved in a contentious end with Larson at the Glen, will start outside the front row. Joey Logano and Suarez will be in row 2.

Aric Almirola is postponing his retirement and staying with Stewart-Haas Racing for at least a year, maybe longer. Almirola has signed a multi-year deal with SHR that includes increased financial support from longtime sponsor Smithfield Foods.

Almirola, 38, who is completing his 11th consecutive year with Smithfield as a sponsor, said on Friday he had discovered a new balance between family and racing in 2022. His wife and two children joined him for the most race weekends as they turned work trips into mini-vacations visiting baseball stadiums and visiting tourist sites across the country.

They visited the St. Louis Arch, attended baseball games in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Detroit, and took a road trip between Phoenix and Las Vegas that included a hiking trip to Zion National Park in Utah.

“I’ve found a renewed sense of what a work-life balance looks like,” Almirola said, adding that his family will have done 28 errands by the end of the year. “We’ve really taken this year to embrace it and absorb it all, and I think as a family we’re not ready for it to end yet.”

American tool company Craftsman will return as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Truck Series beginning in 2023. Craftsman has been the title sponsor since the Truck Series’ inception from 1995 to 2008.

Since then, Camping World has been the main sponsor. But Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis announced in July that his company would leave NASCAR at the end of the 2022 season. Lemonis said his company wanted to focus on increasing workers’ wages and benefits.

Longtime Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Greg Ives is stepping down after 17 NASCAR seasons, the last five with Alex Bowman. Ives, 42, has worked with Bowman on the No. 48 Chevy for the past two years. He previously worked with Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2015-17) on the #88 before Bowman replaced Earnhardt in that car.

“There are many reasons, but the biggest one is being able to focus on my family and spend more time with our kids as they grow up,” Ives said in a social media post.

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