Suarez Got The Most Out Of His Hot Rod

Daniel Suarez

Date: Aug. 9, 2020

Event: Consumers Energy 400 (Round 22 of 36)

Series: NASCAR Cup Series

Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)

Format: 156 laps, broken into three stages (40 laps/45 laps/71 laps)

Start/Finish: 24th / 26th (Running, completed 156 of 156 laps)

Point Standing: 31st with 238 points

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

Stage 1 Winner: Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-40):

● Started 24th, finished 30th.

● Suárez hovered around his 24th starting position during the opening laps, first reporting his Toyota Camry was a little free but better than at the start of Saturday’s race. He then slid to 29th by lap seven and held that relative position until the latter part of the stage, ultimately crossing the finish line 30th, one lap down but the beneficiary of the Lucky Dog pass back onto the lead lap.

● He pitted during the break for multiple adjustments – right-rear air pressure, track bar and right-side wedge.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 41-85):

● Started 29th, finished 30th.

● Like the opening stage, this one also went green from start to finish.

● Suárez took the green flag 29th on lap 47 and dropped a position by the end of the stage. He said his Toyota Camry was slightly tight in the center and on corner exit and lacked straightline speed. He pitted during the break to lower the rear end on both sides, remove packer from the front, and added air pressure in the right-rear tire.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 86-156):

● Started 23rd, finished 26th.

● Suárez took the green flag 23rd to start the stage on lap 91 and was in that same position when the first incident-related caution flag of the day appeared on lap 95. He said his Toyota was tight and was called to pit road for four fresh tires and a bit of packer added back to the left front. Suárez restarted 24th when the race went back to green on lap 101.

● The caution flag appeared for a single-car incident on lap 105 with Suárez running 25th. He pitted for a slight wedge adjustment and to top off the fuel tank. He restarted 21st when the race went back to green on lap 109.

● Suárez was running 26th when the caution flag flew for a single-car incident on lap 136. He pitted to free up his Toyota a bit for the short run to the finish, taking four fresh tires, air pressure adjustments to both fronts and another track bar adjustment. He took the green flag 26th on the lap-141 restart.

● The race went green to the checkered flag with Suárez holding position all the way, just missing his second consecutive top-25.

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

“It was a good job by Dave (Winston, crew chief) making changes, a good job by the pit crew, a good job by everyone. We got the most out of what we had. We thought our Toyota was going to be better at the start of the race – definitely didn’t expect it to be as loose as it was. But we were able to make it better. I just wish I could have some more straightline speed to race some of those guys ahead of us, but I know we’ll get there. We’ll just keep on digging.”

Race Notes:

● Today’s result was the 21st in a row with Suárez and his No. 96 Toyota running at the finish, and it was the team’s sixth lead-lap finish of the season and fourth in the last six points-paying races.

Kevin Harvick won the Consumers Energy 400 for his 55th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his fifth at Michigan. Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .093 of a second.

● There were five caution periods for a total of 24 laps.

● Twenty-eight of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

● Harvick remains the championship leader after Michigan with a 137-point advantage over second-place Brad Keselowski.

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule for Daniel Suárez and Gaunt Brothers Racing is the Go Bowling 235 on Sunday, Aug. 16 on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race begins at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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

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