Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series race under the lights at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is one of the most popular races of the season.
More than 100,000 fans pack the high banked, half-mile oval to watch what someone once described as “jet fighters flying in a gymnasium.”
Daniel Suárez is as excited as any driver for Saturday night. It could be he has fond memories of his last Bristol visit.
Suárez had never driven a race car on dirt until the Tuesday before the March 3 inaugural Cup Series race on the Bristol dirt. His Trackhouse Racing crew visited Smoky Mountain Speedway in Marysville, Tenn. for the 29-year-old to drive a street-stock on the .4-mile dirt track.
With that vast experience he arrived at Bristol to run in both the Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Cup Series dirt race. He finished 17th in the truck race, but put on a show when he climbed into his Cup car.
Driving from his 18th starting spot, Suárez finished fourth in Stage 1 and second in Stage 2. Both the best stage finishes in his first-year Trackhouse team’s history.
He led 58 laps and finished fourth as he battled for victory against drivers who grew up racing on dirt. It was an amazing accomplishment for someone with next to no dirt racing experience.
Suárez would love grab everyone’s attention again Saturday night, but this time on the hard surface at Bristol.
One thing is for sure, you won’t be able to miss Suárez and his paint scheme when the green flag drops Saturday night.
A colorful Coca-Cola paint scheme will adorn Trackhouse Racing’s No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month – Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.
The paint scheme was inspired by local Saltillo Sarape – prestigious Mexican wearing blankets – artists from Suárez’s hometown of Monterey, Mexico.
NBCSN broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT Saturday.
Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 99 Coca-Cola Chevrolet Camaro
What do you think of your paint scheme?
“Oh my gosh, it is fantastic. Coca-Cola and Trackhouse Racing did a great job with it. I’m very honored to drive it and appreciate Coca-Cola recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month.”
What do you remember about your fourth-place finish on the Bristol dirt in March?
“To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. But we were having fun that day. Everyone at Trackhouse Racing did an amazing job getting me ready and I just raced the best I could.”
What are your goals for Saturday night?
“Just a few spots better this time. I want to win!”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!