Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) and driver Daniel Suárez have mutually agreed to part ways upon the conclusion of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Suárez joined GBR in late January and will continue to drive the No. 96 Toyota Camry through the season finale Nov. 8 at Phoenix Raceway.
“The entire team is very appreciative of the effort Daniel has put forth. He has helped build the foundation we need for next season as well as 2022 when the NextGen car arrives,” said Marty Gaunt, president and CEO, GBR. “We’re both committed to earning as many points as possible in these last eight races together and finishing the season strong.”
GBR was founded in 2010 and stepped up to the elite NASCAR Cup Series in 2017 when it entered the Daytona 500. After running a part-time schedule for three years where GBR made a total of 37 starts with a handful of drivers, GBR committed to a full schedule in 2020 with Suárez.
“I’m extremely thankful to my entire Toyota family for everything they have done for me, especially this year. I will always be grateful to them for having my back,” said Suárez, currently in his fourth season in the NASCAR Cup Series. “Marty and everyone at Gaunt Brothers Racing invest a lot of time and effort into this race team and I’m proud to have been a part of it. I have given 100 percent of myself to this team since day one, and I will continue to give 100 percent until the last lap at Phoenix. My goal has always been to win races and championships, and that will never change.”
Earlier this year, GBR notched a 24-race streak of running at the finish, a mark surpassed by just one other driver/team combination this season – Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team. GBR has had only one DNF (Did Not Finish) this year – the Aug. 29 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway – where Suárez led 19 laps before getting caught up in a multicar accident four laps short of the finish.
“It’s a big jump to go from a part-time schedule to a full-time schedule, especially this season as we all dealt with the challenges of a global pandemic, but we’ve made it work,” Gaunt said. “Our strategic partnership with Toyota has been a critical and valuable asset, and that’s evident by the reliability we’ve been able to achieve this year. We’re laying important groundwork for improved goals next year that, ultimately, sets us up for success with the NextGen car in 2022. We’re taking a methodical, long-term approach to our future and the next driver of our No. 96 Toyota will be an integral part of that development.”