RACE: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Alabama 500
TRACK: Talladega Superspeedway
DRIVER: Daniel Suárez
CAR: No. 19 STANLEY Toyota Camry
Daniel Suárez and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) paid a visit to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for the final race of the 2017 season at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Suárez earned the 14th starting position on Saturday afternoon after posting a time of 50.678 seconds around the Talladega, AL track. Suárez’ qualifying time was the fastest of all the Toyota’s who took time.
Sporting a new paint scheme this weekend, Suárez and his Camping World team took the green flag at 2:13 PM ET on Sunday afternoon under cloudy conditions at the largest track on the circuit. After 188-laps were complete at Talladega, Suárez led 11 circuits around the speedway, ultimately finishing 15th after being collected in an accident on lap 181.
Following the drop of the green flag, Suárez settled into the draft and inside the top 15 for the first 10 circuits around the 2.66-mile speedway. After getting shuffled out of the draft on lap 13, Suárez dropped to 24th, but recovered and was scored in second when the first caution of the afternoon waved on lap 27. Under the caution, crew chief Scott Graves called Suárez down pit road for four tires, fuel and a slight adjustment to the Camping World Camry. With teams on varying pit strategies, Suárez restarted in ninth on lap 36. Following the restart, Suárez continued to work in the draft, and was scored in 17th when the caution flag waved once again on lap 55, signaling the end of stage one. Staying out under the caution, Suárez and the Camping World team restarted the second stage in fourth on lap 61.
Following the restart, Suárez settled into the draft once again, running inside the top five until slipping to 17th on lap 78 after getting shuffled out of the draft once again. Despite the setback, Suárez maintained his position in 17th until the caution flag waved once again on lap 81. With another opportunity for fresh tires, Graves once again called Suárez down pit road for fresh Goodyear Eagles, fuel and another round of adjustments. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 16th on lap 87. Suárez would go on to finish Stage two in the 21st position after the caution flag waved once again on lap 110. Following a two-tire stop under the caution, Suárez restarted the final stage in sixth on lap 115.
Following the restart on lap 115, Suárez slipped to 22nd by lap 117, but continued to work his way towards the front in the draft, being scored in sixth when the caution flag waved on lap 165 for an accident on the backstretch. Deciding to stay out once again under the caution, Suárez restarted in sixth with 18 laps remaining in the race. Following the restart, Suárez charged to the front and took the lead on lap 170, leading his first-career lap at Talladega in the Cup series. Suárez would go on to lead 11 circuits around the 2.66-mile speedway, unfortunately, Suárez and the Camping World team were caught in an accident on lap 181 while leading, relegating them to a 15th-place finish.
The MENCS returns to the track next weekend at Kansas Speedway for their second and final visit of the 2017 season and 1.5-mile speedway. Coverage of the race begins on Sunday, October 22nd at 3:00 PM ET live on NBCSN and MRN Radio.
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