Daniel Suarez to join Gaunt Brothers Racing full-time in 2020

Suarez, 28, will compete in the Cup Series this season for Gaunt Brothers Racing, which will move to a fulltime team for the first time in its existence, has learned.

An official announcement of the move is expected sometime this week.

Suarez, the 2016 Xfinity Series champion, was left without a Cup series ride for the 2020 season when Cole Custer was moved into his No. 41 Ford at Stewart-Haas Racing after Suarez completed just one year with the organization.

In recent seasons, Gaunt Brothers, owned by Canadian Marty Gaunt, has fielded the No. 96 Toyota in a partial schedule, utilizing drivers such as Parker Kligerman and D.J. Kennington.

Recently, Kligerman told NBC Sports – with whom he does NASCAR TV work – that he would not be returning to the No. 96 this season. 

Sources have also confirmed to that Kennington – who has competed in the Daytona 500 in 2017 and 2018 for the team – has also been informed he will not compete in the No. 96 this season.

Gaunt Brothers made its Cup series debut in the 2017 Daytona 500. Last season, the team entered 15 Cup races, 14 with Kligerman as driver and one with Drew Herring.

A request for comment was not immediately returned by team officials.

While he displayed flashes of competitiveness, Suarez failed to make the Cup playoffs in 2019 and ended the season 17th in the series standings with four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes and won one pole.

In 108 career Cup starts, Suarez has a career-best finish of second, which came in the July race at Pocono in 2018. 

The native of Monterrey, Mexico, became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race in 2016 with his Xfinity Series win at Michigan International Speedway. 

He made all but one of his 84 Xfinity starts – including his three series wins – and his first 72 Cup starts with Joe Gibbs Racing.

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