By Toby Christie, Editor — Follow On Twitter @Toby_Christie
FORT WORTH, Texas — Regardless who your favorite driver is, everyone will have a reason — or a million of them actually — to pull for Joe Gibbs Racing’s driver of the No. 19 Toyota Camry, Daniel Suarez.
Suarez will be running this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and ACE Hardware has already donated $100,000 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. If Suarez goes on to win Sunday’s race though, Stanley Tools will donate an extra $1-million to the cause. Suarez spoke to The Final Lap about the excitement around the program, which is now in it’s 12th season, this weekend.
“Having some fun. We have a special weekend — or week for everything we have going on with Stanley, and the racing for a miracle program and Ace Hardware as well, so just very excited for everything that is going on,” said Suarez.
Suarez’s beautiful race car design, which was unveiled Thursday at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, was a collaborative effort between four children in the Children’s Miracle Network, and star of Velocity’s TV show, Overhaulin’ Chip Foose.
“Yeah that’s amazing. Obviously, you know I love racing and that’s what I love the most. But when we have opportunities like we have today, meeting kids having kids working with Stanley and having them design my race car, I think that’s even more special,” Suarez said with sincerity. “You don’t get these opportunities every day. To have those good smiles, and good excitement from those kids, you can’t put a price on that.”
The four children, Gabiral, Jacob, Lucas and Matthew will be honorary crew members all week for the team and they will spend quality time with Suarez the entire time. Hopefully they also get to spend some quality time in victory lane when the dust settles.
“I can tell you, the team has been working extremely hard to build more speed into our race cars. I’m going to do my very, very best for these kids this weekend. To have these kids, is like an extra push. These kids bring a huge smile to your face, and I feel we are going to have a real strong week,” Suarez predicted.
Suarez went on to say that he hasn’t had the start to the season that he wanted after recording 12 top-10 finishes in his rookie season, but he is confident his team has figured out what has ailed them through the first six races of 2018. Keep an eye on Suarez and the No. 19 team this weekend.
Photo by Toby Christie / The Final Lap