Joe Gibbs Racing driver Daniel Suarez was made available to the media at Auto Club Speedway:
Daniel Suarez, No. 19 Subway Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Are you excited to have Subway on your Camry this weekend?
“Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. You know, you love the hat. A lot of people out there, they love the fire suit. I love the paint scheme of the car. I think the car looks awesome. Honestly, I haven’t been with someone that say, Hey, I don’t really like the 19 Toyota Camry this weekend, because that thing looks awesome. Really excited to have Subway onboard for this weekend, the first race of four races for this 2017 reason. In the last few weeks, we film a commercial, a national commercial with them, that’s going to air on TV this coming Sunday, in our first race together. I’m super excited as well. Yesterday was the first time I was able to see the final version of the commercial. It turn out great. So super excited about that, as well.”
Did you also film a commercial in Spanish?
“I did. I did. Actually, you know, I spend a lot of hours trying to do my lines right in English. In Spanish, I spent 10 minutes (laughter). I thought that was pretty funny. Definitely took me a lot of work to make my lines right in English and Spanish. I was going to feel bad if it wasn’t that way. But, yeah, we did some in Spanish, as well.”
Is there regular live coverage of the races in your home country?
“Yeah. It’s been like that for the last 15 years or more. I remember being a kid, watching all the NASCAR races with my dad on Sundays and Saturdays. My family, they live in Mexico, they’re able to watch the race on live every single weekend, any race, any national race. I’m obviously very happy for that. They have that option to do. As well, overall, just super excited right now to be here on the West Coast. These three races on the West Coast maybe is one of the most fun part that I have of the season. Being in Vegas, in Phoenix, and now here in California, three really, really good racetracks. And the fans, man, I just feel like I have a lot of support. Is amazing, know, how the fans support their own drivers. Obviously the Latin American fan base here is pretty big. Every time I get to see flags, you know, a lot of support in the grandstands, I know who they are supporting. Very happy for that, and looking forward to have another good, strong run this weekend.”
back now from where you sit as a Cup driver, what did it mean for you to race in the NASCAR Mexico Series?
“Yeah, you know, it’s funny because couple days ago one of my friends ask me, those friends that you don’t really talk a lot to them, they ask me, Daniel, are you going to be racing in the NASCAR National Series in Monterrey? I said, I don’t think so, I think I have something bigger to do in California. But, yeah, I’m very happy they’re starting the season this coming Sunday as well in my hometown. I think it’s going to be very, very cool for them. But I think I’m having even more fun here with you guys. So looking forward to that, as well.”
How important was it for you and the team to get a top‑10 finish at Phoenix?
“It was very good. I’m still thinking the same way. I think there is a long way to go still. We have a lot of work to do. I feel like at Phoenix, we made some good gains. We learned some good stuff. But there is some stuff out there that we have to still working on and getting better at and trying to just, you know, get faster. Overall, just find more speed as a team. But we are getting there. Definitely I need to have a good result, like that top 10. It’s a good boost to keep moving forward and keep pushing. Hopefully that can be the first one of many this year.”
What are your expectations at Martinsville next week for the first time in the Cup Camry race car?
“I think the Cup car is going to be way, way different than the truck. Like you just mentioned, I have ran the truck there a couple times. It’s been a lot of fun. But definitely it’s still a lot of things I have to get better at. It’s one of those racetracks that I feel like I need to be better at. Hopefully I can do my homework right and ask my teammates, you know, for some advice. Just trying to be competitive. Is one of the races that track position is super important. Hopefully we can have good track position, and I learn as much as I can.”
Whatever happened with that giant lizard that looked like it was chasing you through the desert?
“Well, that thing was coming to me (smiling). It was fun. Phoenix overall is a place I really liked a lot to race, to go out there, to have fun, hiking. It slowly was coming to me. Was doing push‑ups in part of the video, as well. Overall, I had a lot of fun, you know, hiking with my team, with my guys. It was a good day. A good, hot day actually. I feel like it was fun doing that with my guys.”
Did it spring at you?
“No, it did not. But it was coming close. It was coming close. I thought, Man, this thing is getting pretty close. Let’s see what happen. But nothing happen. She was my friend, I guess.”