Suarez Brought It Back In One Piece

Daniel Suarez

Date: June 27, 2020

Event: Pocono Organics 325 (Round 14 of 36)

Series: NASCAR Cup Series

Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)

Format: 130 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/52 laps/53 laps)

Start/Finish: 37th / 28th (Running, completed 128 of 130 laps)

Point Standing: 31st with 131 points

Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):

● Started 37th, finished 28th.

Daniel Suárez and his CommScope Toyota were up to 27th after the opening lap, then drifted back to 31st, where he was when the competition caution flag waved on lap 12. He asked for help with overall grip, particularly exiting turn two due to excessive bouncing. He stopped for fuel only and a bit of tape on the grille and restarted 20th on lap 16.

● The caution flag flew just one lap later for a single-car incident, by which time Suárez had slipped back to 26th. He restarted in the same position on lap 20.

● Suárez dropped a pair of positions to 28th by the time the caution flag flew to end the stage. He pitted during the break for tires, fuel, a left-front packer and air pressure adjustments on all four tires.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-77):

● Started 29th, finished 28th.

● Suárez restarted 29th on lap 30 and the race went green until the caution flag flew for a minor, two-car incident on lap 64 with the CommScope Toyota running 28th. He stayed on track, restarted 28th on lap 69, then pitted the next time around the track for fuel only and resumed 29th before the caution flag flew for another two-car incident on lap 71.

● The race went back to green on lap 75 with just two laps remaining in the stage and Suárez running 28th. He held that position to the stage break, during which he pitted for four tires, fuel and slight air pressure adjustments. He said he was hoping to make the CommScope Toyota a little more free during the latter stages of the longer runs.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 78-130):

● Started 28th, finished 28th.

● The green flag flew on lap 82 and Suárez took it 28th after stopping a second time just prior to the restart to top off the fuel tank of his CommScope Toyota Camry.

● With the bulk of the leaderscycling through for their final scheduled stops of the day by lap 95, Suárez was up to 10th with 35 laps to go to the checkered flag.

● Hoping for a caution flag that never flew during the stage,Suárez ran the bulk of the stage in fuel-saving mode and came up a little more than a lap short. He headed down pit road on lap 128 for a splash of fuel to get him to the finish, and crossed the line 28th, two laps down.

Daniel Suárez, driver of the No. 96 CommScope Toyota Camry for Gaunt Brothers Racing:

“It was a good job by the CommScope Toyota team – we brought our Camry home in one piece and I think we’ll be better Sunday. We were hoping to do the third stage without stopping and we came up just short with no yellows. We’ll work hard to make the changes we need to tonight and tomorrow morning. I’m confident we’ll be much better than a 28th-place car.”

Race Notes:

Kevin Harvick won Saturday’s Pocono Organics 325 for his third victory of the season and his first in 39 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Pocono. His margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .761 of a second.

● There were six caution periods for a total of 21 laps.

● Twenty-one of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

● Harvick remains the championship leader after Pocono with a 29-point advantage over second-place Ryan Blaney.

Next Up:

The second event of the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono for Suárez and the Gaunt Brothers Racing team is Sunday’s Pocono 350. The race starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Suárez will start Sunday’s race 28th based on his finishing position today.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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