SONOMA, CALI. — Daniel Suárez’s first NASCAR Cup Series win in Sunday’s Toyota SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway set or tied several playoff-era and all-time marks for the series.
Suárez became the fourth first-time winner of 2022. After 16 races, this season is one away from tying the all-time record of five first-time winners – set in 2001, 2002 and 2011. 2022 is on-pace to break that record as, in the first 16 races, 2001 had three first-time winners while 2002 and 2011 each had two.
For Suarez, personally, he broke a 194-race winless streak that has seen him race for the likes of Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Gaunt Brothers Racing and now Trackhouse Racing, with mixed fortunes.
“It’s crazy day. I have so many thoughts in my head right now. I mean, it’s been a rough road. It’s been a rough journey in the Cup Series. These guys believing in me – Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks, Ty Norris,” Suarez said after the race. “Everyone that helped me get to this point. A lot of people in Mexico: Jay Morales, Carlos Slim. My family, they never give up on me. A lot of people did, but they didn’t, I’m just very happy we were able to make it work.”
Suárez earned the first Cup win for a driver from Mexico and became only the fifth foreign winner race in the series’ 74-year history.
On his win, Suárez said, in Spanish, “This is the first of many,” to his Daniel’s Amigos fan club who were seated in turn 1.
Marcos Ambrose (two wins; Watkins Glen in 2012 and 2011), Juan Pablo Montoya (two wins; Sonoma 2007 and Watkins Glen 2010), Earl Ross (one win; Martinsville 1974) and Mario Andretti (one win; 1967 Daytona 500) are the series’ other foreign winners.
Suarez driver is 17th in points and is one of four winners who are outside of the top 16 in points – including 18th-place Austin Cindric (Daytona 500 winner), 19th-place Kurt Busch (Kansas) and 21st-place Denny Hamlin (Richmond, Coca-Cola 600).
Ten races remain in the regular-season and four spots are available for any new winners or winless drivers highest in points if there aren’t 16 eligible winners.
The next race is June 26 at Nashville Superspeedway (5 p.m. ET; TV: NBC; Radio: PRN).
*Footnotes: The previous playoff-era record high after 16 races was 11 winners, set in 2021, 2017, 2016 and 2015. The record fewest is six winners, set in 2019 and 2018.
The only full-time NASCAR Cup Series drivers with zero career wins are Tyler Reddick, Ty Dillon, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland, Corey LaJoie, Cody Ware and BJ McLeod.