Date: Aug. 23, 2020
Event: Dover 311 (Round 25 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: 31st / 28th (Running, completed 309 of 311 laps)
Point Standing: 31st with 264 points
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-70):
● Started 31st, finished 25th.
● Daniel Suárez and his CommScope Toyota picked up three positions before pitting under a lap-five caution for a multicar incident to make track bar and wedge adjustments to try and alleviate an early loose condition on corner entry. He restarted 30th when the race went back to green on lap 11.
● The caution flag waved again for debris on lap 32 with Suárez running 28th. He said his CommScope Toyota was slightly better but he still was dealing with a loose condition on entry and was tight in the center of the corner and on exit. He pitted for tires, fuel, right-side air pressure adjustments and packer removed from the right front. He restarted 23rd when the race went back to green on lap 39.
● The race went green until the stage’s end and Suárez crossed the line 25th. He said he was still dealing with a loose condition on entry and tight off the corner. He pitted during the break for tires, fuel and further air pressure and track bar adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 71-185):
● Started 25th, finished 29th.
● The caution flag flew for a single-car incident on lap 99 with Suárez running 25th. He moved up to 22nd early in the run, reporting that his CommScope Toyota as “really good for the first 10 laps.” He pitted for fresh tires, fuel, and slight air pressure adjustments with more packer removed from the front. He restarted 26th when the race went back to green on lap 106.
● The race stayed green until the end of the stage, by which time Suárez dropped four positions and fell off the lead lap while still dealing with loose on entry and tight on corner exit conditions. He pitted during the break for tires and fuel, as well as track bar and wedge adjustments across the rear.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 186-311):
● Started 29th, finished 28th.
● Suárez held position until the caution flag flew for a single-car incident on lap 215. He pitted for four tires and fuel with air pressure and track bar adjustments to continue attacking the loose on entry and tight on corner exit condition. He restarted 29th when the race went back to green on lap 222.
● The caution flag flew for a single-car incident on lap 288 with Suárez running 28th. He stayed on track to take the wave-around and restarted 26th, one lap down, when the race went back to green on lap 294.
● The race stayed green the rest of the way and Suárez crossed the line 28th.
Daniel Suárez, driver of the No. 96 CommScope Toyota Camry for Gaunt Brothers Racing:
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a season, for sure, and after a weekend like we’ve had here with our CommScope Toyota, we know we just need to keep working hard and keep our eyes on the big picture. We struggled with our handling on corner entry and exit today and just had a difficult time trying to find a way to fix it. It’s definitely frustrating, but one thing we are doing for sure is to keep working hard and keep trying to make our racecars better. It may not always feel like it, but in the big picture we are continuing to make progress.”
● Today’s race was the 24th in a row with Suárez and his No. 96 CommScope Toyota running at the finish.
● Kevin Harvick won the Drydene 311 to score his 56th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his series-leading seventh of the season, and his third at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr., was 3.525 seconds.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 40 laps.
● Twenty-one of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Harvick remained the championship leader after Dover with a 134-point advantage over second-place Denny Hamlin.
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule for Suárez and Gaunt Brothers Racing is the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. It is the final race of the regular season and starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The 10-race, 16-driver NASCAR playoffs begin the following week with the Sept. 6 Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!