RACE: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Go Bowling 400
TRACK: Kansas Speedway
DRIVER: Daniel Suárez
CAR: No. 19 STANLEY Toyota Camry
Daniel Suárez and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) returned to Kansas Speedway this weekend for the first of two stops during the 2017 season at the 1.5-mile speedway. Suárez and his STANLEY team were racing for much more than his first-career victory on Saturday night, as the team had a chance to win one million dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This exciting opportunity was part of STANLEY’s Annual “Racing for a Miracle” campaign in partnership with CMN Hospitals and the Ace Hardware Foundation.
Suárez spent Thursday afternoon touring the local Pediatrics Unit at The University of Kansas Health System, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, and met many of the young patients admitted there. While visiting, Suárez and representatives from STANLEY presented a $100,000 donation to CMN Hospitals on behalf of the Ace Hardware Foundation.
After earning the 15th starting position during qualifying on Friday afternoon, Suárez and the STANLEY team took the green flag at 7:36 PM ET under perfect conditions in Country’s heartland. After 267-laps were complete at the Kansas City, KS facility, Suárez crossed the finish line in the seventh position in the STANLEY Camry, matching his career-best MENCS finish.
Following the drop of the green flag, Suárez settled into 17th on lap one, and maintained his position until the first caution flag of the evening waved on lap 29. Fighting a loose STANLEY Camry during the run, crew chief Scott Graves called Suárez down pit road under caution for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments to help the STANLEY Camry turn better. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 23rd on lap 35. Following the restart, Suárez maintained his position inside the top 25, relaying to his STANLEY team that his Camry was “super tight” during the run. Fighting the tight condition, Suárez was scored in 21st when the second caution of the evening waved on lap 50. During the caution, Graves once again called Suárez down pit road, this time calling for a two tire stop on the STANLEY Camry. With the pit strategy working, Suárez picked up multiple spots on pit road and restarted in fifth on lap 56.
Following the restart, Suárez would continue to battle and be scored in 18th at the end of stage one on lap 80. Following another round of pit stops under the caution, Suárez restarted in 16th on lap 88, the start of the second stage.
During the second stage, Suárez cracked the top 10 by lap 106 and would be scored in sixth when the sixth caution of the evening waved on lap 137. Following another round of pit stops under the caution, Suárez restarted in 15th on lap 144. With the changes on the STANELY Camry working, Suárez worked his way up to 11th by lap 160 and the end of stage two.
Suárez restarted the final stage in 11th on lap 166 and worked his way up to as high as the sixth positon during the final stage. A late-race caution would come out with 24-laps remaining in the race with Suárez being scored in the 12th position. Staying out under the caution, Suárez restarted in 11th on lap 248. The young rookie would continue to battle for the closing laps of the race, ultimately crossing the finish line in the seventh position, matching his career-best MENCS finish.
Suárez and the MENCS will visit Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend for the annual All-Star Race Weekend. Suárez will take part in the “Open” at 6:00 PM ET on Saturday, May, 20th and try an earn a spot in the All-Star race field. Coverage of the race can be seen live on Fox Sports 1, and heard on PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Daniel Suárez Post Race Thoughts:
Seventh place run, matching your career-best finish. How was the night and how did the car perform over the course of the race?
“It was good. Very proud of the way that --- that the car worked the entire race. Scott (Graves, crew chief) and the guys they did a very good job. We had a top-10 car and that’s exactly where we ended up. Very happy for the performance of the car and looking forward to keep digging, keep working and keep learning for next weekend.”
© 2017 Utilizzo loghi Joe Gibbs Racing, inc. e Toyota autorizzato