Suarez Double Dips This Weekend At Dover

Daniel Suarez

It’s good to be the reigning champion. It’s a feeling with which driver Daniel Saurez has become accustomed over the course of the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. Even though he competes in the XFINITY series on a limited basis, there’s still a cache of confidence he carries into each race. He’s the champ and it’s good to be the champ.

This weekend Suarez will carry a double dose of buoyancy into Dover (Del.) International Speedway, where he isn’t only the reigning champ, but also the reigning race winner.

Driving the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), Suarez will make his 13th start of the 2017 XFINITY Series season during Saturday’s Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200.

The founding partner of JGR, Interstate Batteries has been powering the championship-winning organization for more than 25 years and is the “Official Battery of Joe Gibbs Racing.” This year, the iconic brand is celebrating its 65th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, special 65th anniversary branding has been featured on each of the paint schemes JGR has raced during the 2017 NASCAR season.

It’s the third time this year that Suarez is racing the iconic green-and-white scheme. Having the “Outrageously Dependable” brand on board may give the team the boost it needs to find the one thing that has eluded Suarez so far in 2017 – victory lane.

While Suarez has yet to win in XFINITY competition in 2017, he’s been close, with a trio of third-place finishes and a runner-up effort at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in August to show for it. In total, Suarez has scored five top-five finishes, six top-10s and led laps in seven of his 12 starts.

And now he turns his attention to the concrete mile oval of Dover, where Suarez has made a total of five starts in XFINITY competition. His career record at Dover features one win, two top-fives and four top-10s. He’s led a total of 142 laps and owns an average start of 5.8 and average finish of 8.4.

It was one year ago when Suarez put on a dominant display rarely seen amongst series regulars. Driving the Interstate Batteries Toyota, Suarez started fifth and quickly made his move to the front by taking the top spot just 10 laps into the 200-lap event. The Monterrey, Mexico native went on to dominate the Monster Mile, leading a race-high 123 laps and scoring the win by a margin of more than five seconds.

With Interstate Batteries in tow for the second time at Dover, Suarez and company hope to get the charge they need to pull off the repeat this weekend.

DANIEL SUAREZ, Driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
What are your thoughts on heading to Dover this weekend?

“I’m really looking forward to getting to Dover and back behind the wheel of my Interstate Batteries Camry this weekend. Dover is such a unique racetrack and really unlike any track we visit all season. It reminds me a lot of Bristol, but on a much bigger scale. Every time I see Dover coming up on the schedule, I get excited. It’s honestly one of my favorite tracks we visit all season and I feel really comfortable there. We have two races remaining in the XFINITY Series this season and I want nothing more than to get a win for our team, Interstate Batteries, and all of the great partners that support us in the XFINITY Series.”

What was it like to get that win at Dover last year?

“It was a big win for us. I think the thing you learn the longer you run is how hard wins are to come by. I probably was a little more comfortable going into Dover than other tracks because it was a place I really liked and had been racing at since my K&N days. When we went into Dover last year, we had started running really strong. We had an amazing car that day with a ton of speed. It was a pretty unbelievable win and did a lot for helping us to be able to go on and win the championship.”

You have Interstate Batteries on board again this weekend at Dover. How special is it to race that scheme?

“It’s very special. Interstate Batteries is very important to Coach Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing. For me, personally, it’s been great getting to know the people there and Norm Miller. He’s been just great to me, a lot of support and a lot of trust. That’s something really, really special. I feel very lucky to have support from people like him and everyone at Interstate Batteries.”

Meet the No. 18 Interstate Batteries/Joe Gibbs Racing Team
Car No.: 18 – Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry


At-Track PR Contact: Penny Copen Fender with True Speed Communication

704.875.3388 ext. 810 or

Road Crew Members:

Driver: Daniel Suarez


Crew Chief: Eric Phillips


Car Chief: Chris Meyers


Engine Builder: Mark Cronquist


Engine Tuner: Roger Purcell


Spotter: Chris Osborne


Shock Specialist: Dustin Zacharyasz


Tire Specialist: John Lanham


Engineer: Chris Whitenight


Mechanic: Tyler Paxton


Truck Driver: Steve Fiedler

Pit Crew Members:

Front Tire Changer: Josh Leslie


Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy


Gas Man: Tom Lampe


Rear Tire Changer: Jake Seminara


Rear Tire Carrier: Kenny Barber


Jack Man: T.J. Ford




Daniel Suarez Highlights at Dover International Speedway:
● Saturday’s Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway will be Saurez’s sixth start in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition at the concrete mile oval.


● In five previous XFINITY Series starts at Dover, Suarez’s best result is the victory he scored during the fall race in 2016. He also has two top-five finishes and four top-10s for an average start of 5.8 and average finish of 8.4.


● This weekend’s XFINITY Series event will be Suarez’s 81st career start in the series. In 80 previous starts, Suarez has scored three wins, 32 top-fives and 51 top-10s. He’s earned the top starting spot six times and has led 497 laps.


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