Box Score Info:
RACE: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – AAA Drive for Autism 400
TRACK: Dover International Speedway
DRIVER: Daniel Suárez
CAR: No. 19 STANLEY Toyota Camry
FINISH: 6th (Career Best)
Daniel Suárez and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) returned to the track this weekend at Dover International Speedway for the first of two stops during of the 2017 season at the 1.0-mile speedway known as the “Monster Mile”. After earning his career-best starting position of third on Friday afternoon, Suárez and the STANLEY team took the green flag at 1:19 PM ET. After 406-laps were complete at the Dover, DE facility, Suárez crossed the finish line in the sixth position in the STANLEY Camry, earning his career-best MENCS finish.
Following the drop of the green flag, Suárez slipped back to fourth on lap 15, and maintained his position until the first caution of the afternoon waved on lap 17. During the caution, crew chief Scott Graves call the young rookie down pit road for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments on the STANLEY Camry. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in fourth on lap 21. Following the restart, Suárez relayed to his STANLEY team that his Camry was a tick loose following the stop. Despite the loose condition, Suárez was a main-stay inside the top 10, being scored in 10th when the caution flag once again waved on lap 96. Continuing to battle a loose Camry, Graves once again called Suárez down pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 15th as some teams stayed out under the caution. With the changes to the STANLEY Camry working, Suárez once again cracked the top 10 on lap 112, and maintained his position until the caution flag waved once again on lap 120, the end of Stage one. Staying out under the caution, Suárez restarted in seventh on lap 127, the start of Stage two.
Following the restart, Suárez dropped back to 11th by lap 146 when the caution flag once again waved. After another four-tire pit stop on the STANLEY Camry during the caution, Suárez restarted in 14th on lap 150. Following the restart, Suárez would maintain a hold on the 14th position for the next 67 laps before the caution flag waved once again on lap 217. After staying out under the caution, Suárez restarted in 14th on lap 222. After picking up one spot on the restart, Suárez maintained his position in 13th until the caution flag waved once again on lap 240, signaling the end of Stage two. Graves would once again call Suárez down pit road under the caution, changing four tires and adding fuel to the STANLEY Camry. Following the stop, Suárez restarted the final stage in in the 12th position on lap 247.
With the changes to the STANLEY Camry working, Suárez cracked the top 10 once again on lap 272 and would maintain his position until making a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 325. After a lightning-quick pit stop by his STANLEY team, Suárez returned to the track in the 18th position. Unfortunately, the caution flag waved before green-flag pit stops cycled through on lap 329 and Suárez along with multiple teams were caught a lap down to the leaders. Despite the setback, Suárez took the wave around under the caution, gained his lap back and restarted in 16th on lap 338. Following the restart, Suárez worked his way up to 12th by lap 348 and maintained his position until a late caution-flag waved on lap 397 forcing a green-white-checkered finish. With a set of sticker tires still in the pit box, Graves called Suárez down pit road for a two-tire stop on the STANLEY Camry. With the strategy paying off, Suárez picked up three spots on pit road and restarted in the ninth position for the green-white-checkered finish. Wasting no time on the restart, Suárez picked up three spots on the restart and avoided a big wreck on the backstretch, ultimately crossing the finish line in the sixth position and earning his career-best MENCS finish.
The MENCS returns to action next Sunday, June 11th at Pocono Raceway. The race will be broadcast live at 3:00 PM ET on Fox Sports 1, MRN Radio and SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio.
Daniel Suárez Post Race Thoughts:
How was it getting your career-best Cup finish?
“I think it was good. Like everything, ups and downs. In the beginning, we were okay and then later on we were pretty bad. We were able to make some adjustments and get back to a top-10. I feel like we had a top-10 car and we ended up right there. I think the entire team is making process and that’s for sure and I’m very proud of that and we just have to keep working and keep moving in the same direction."
What did you see during the last wreck?
“A lot of people with no tires, some more with two, some more with four. It was a little crazy. I was surprised how good of a grip I had getting to corner one and then exit of two I saw the 13 (Ty Dillon) sideways and really a big mess up there and I’m lucky I was clear by myself to move around and avoid the wreck, but it was a close one for sure.”