Date: Aug. 22, 2020
Event: Drydene 311 (Round 24 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 311 laps, broken into three stages (70 laps/115 laps/126 laps)
Start/Finish: 28th / 30th (Running, completed 306 of 311 laps)
Point Standing: 31st with 255 points
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-70):
● Started 28th, finished 29th.
● Daniel Suárez and his CommScope Toyota had to go to the rear at the start because of unapproved adjustments, but quickly made forward progress after taking the green flag, moving up to 31st by lap three and staying in that position until the first caution flag appeared for a single-car incident on lap seven. He reported his Toyota was loose on corner entry and tight on exit.
● The race went back to green on lap 11 with Suárez running 25th and he was in that same position when the competition caution flag appeared on lap 25. He pitted for tires, fuel, and track bar, wedge and air pressure adjustments all around. He restarted 26th on lap 31.
● After crossing the line 29th to end the stage, Suárez reported his CommScope Toyota was a little better since the previous pit stop but more changes were necessary. He pitted during the break for more track bar, wedge and air pressure adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 71-185):
● Started 25th, finished 30th.
● Suárez reported the second set of changes actually hurt the handling of his CommScope Toyota and he hung on through the green-flag run all the way to his lap-137 pit stop from 26th. More air pressure and right-rear chassis adjustments were the call and Suárez resumed in 31st.
● The stage continued green all the way to the end and Suárez crossed the line in 31st, the last car two laps down. He asked for adjustments to revert back to where the CommScope Toyota was after its first stop of the day as the track had “changed – a lot” since then. Wholesale track bar, wedge and air pressure adjustments were applied, and some packer removed from the right front.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 186-311):
● Started 30th, finished 30th.
● Like the previous stage, this one went green from start to finish. Suárez stayed on track until making his final scheduled pit stop from 29th place on lap 262. He took four tires and fuel with air pressure adjustments and resumed in 30th.
● Suárez held position the rest of the way.
Daniel Suárez, driver of the No. 96 CommScope Toyota Camry for Gaunt Brothers Racing:
“I thought we were going to be pretty decent in the beginning. The first set of changes we made seemed to have us going in the right direction. Our CommScope Toyota was actually good on the first 20 laps of that run. But then the changes we made on our next couple of stops ended up taking us in the wrong direction. The track ended up changing quite a bit, so it turned out to be a frustrating day. We need to give everything a close look and go to work making the changes we need to bring a better car for Sunday. We just need to keep working hard.”
● Today’s result was the 23rd in a row with Suárez and his No. 96 CommScope Toyota running at the finish.
● Denny Hamlin won the Dover 311 to score his 43rd career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr., was 1.179 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Only 12 of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Dover with a 100-point advantage over second-place Hamlin.
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule for Suárez and Gaunt Brothers Racing is the second race of this weekend’s Dover doubleheader, another 311-mile race on Sunday. It starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!