Daniel Suarez on contract status with SHR: ‘We are getting close’

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DOVER, Del. — Daniel Suarez said Friday that meetings in the next couple of weeks could determine his status for 2020 and also discussed his incident with Ryan Newman at the end of last weekend’s race.

Suarez says he and Stewart-Haas Racing are “not there yet” on his contract status for next year, but “we are getting close. … We’re still working. There are a lot of things moving the right direction.”

Suarez, who is in his first season at Stewart-Haas Racing, says sponsorship is a key.

“Everything is of the sponsor,” Suarez said Friday at Dover International Speedway. “If you have a sponsor, you can drive tomorrow, that’s how it works. We have some important meetings in the next couple of weeks that will give us a good direction of where we’re at. We have to be working at that. I know where I want to be. They know where they want me to be. We have to make sure we have the funds to do it.”

Suarez has said that Stewart-Haas Racing has an option on his contract for next year. He also has said he has an option.

Suarez missed the playoffs this season. He enters Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway (2:30 pm. ET on NBCSN) 17th in the points, the highest a non-playoff driver can finish in the points.

He leads Jimmie Johnson by six points for 17th. Suarez saw his lead on Johnson dwindle after finishing 34th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. Suarez crashed at the end after an incident with Newman. They talked on pit road afterward.

Suarez explained what led to that incident:

“We were running towards the top the entire race and one of the pit stops we decided to stay out with no tires and everyone behind me took tires so we put ourselves in a bad situation. That is racing. Sometimes you make good decisions and sometimes you make bad ones. Unfortunately for us, that was a bad one and I put myself in the mess with all those guys that were fighting like dogs out there. It was a tough situation.”

Suarez hit the wall when Newman moved up the track to go to an area designated to serve a stop-and-go penalty for missing the backstretch chicane.

“I was very disappointed and I went to talk to Ryan after the race and he swears that he didn’t do it on purpose,” Suarez said. “Who knows if that is true or not but that is what he said and that is what I have to believe.

“If he was saying otherwise, I was going to go after him. He said he didn’t do it on purpose. He gave me his explanation of how things happened but as a driver it wasn’t a little contact. It was pretty hard contact.

“He missed the chicane and had to do a pass through, which is why I was passing him on the outside and all of a sudden he turned right. He told me he was going to do a stop and go. Who knows? Who cares at this point anymore? We just have to move on. I am here in Dover, one of my favorite places to race and I want to take advantage of that.”

Sioux Chief to sponsor ARCA Showdown, East Series to race at Nashville Fairgrounds

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ARCA announced Saturday that Sioux Chief Manufacturing will be the entitlement sponsor of its 10-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown in 2020.

Sioux Chief Manufacturing is a Missouri company that designs and manufactures rough plumbing products, parts, and accessories for residential, commercial, industrial and government applications

Sioux Chief has been involved in ARCA since 2015 as a race event sponsor and special awards program sponsor and sponsored ARCA’s former Short Track Challenge.

As part of the deal, a newly increased point fund, combined with race purses, owner plan, and contingency awards, will offer teams a chance to compete for a share of over $920,000 in posted awards throughout the series.

The Sioux Chief Showdown will bring together the best drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West, formerly known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Those events, held on oval tracks 1.25-miles in length and under and road courses, offer drivers who may not be able or eligible to run the full 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule the opportunity to run for a championship. Combined with the overall ARCA Menards Series championship, and the East and West championships, drivers will have four separate championships to compete for in 2020.

The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Also present was promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises, who announced that the ARCA Menards Series East would compete at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 2.

The Tennessean reported this week that the Nashville Fairgrounds was negotiating with Sargent to promote at least three races at the short track in 2020. Sargent’s involvement in the track comes after Nashville’s Fair Board voted to terminate its agreement with Formosa Productions to run the track over outstanding debt.

The ARCA Menards Series has competed at the Fairgrounds the last five seasons. The ARCA Menards Series East, formerly known as the K&N Pro Series East, competed there from 2007-08.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

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GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.

 

Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

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Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter