Suárez Secures First Top-10 Finish of Cup Career in Phoenix
Daniel Suárez and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) returned to the track this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) for race four of the 2017 season. After earning the 27th starting position on Friday afternoon, Suárez and his ARRIS team took the green flag at 12:44 PM PT at PIR. After 314 laps were complete at the Avondale, AZ facility, Suárez would cross the finish line in the seventh position in his ARRIS Camry, securing his first-career top-10 finish of his young MENCS career.
Following the drop of the green flag under blazing-hot conditions in desert, Suárez gained one spot on the restart and maintained his position until the first caution flag of the afternoon waved on lap 27. Under the caution, Suárez radioed to his ARRIS team that his Camry was “too tight in the center of the corner.” Once pit road was open under caution, crew chief Dave Rogers called Suárez down pit road for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments to his ARRIS Camry. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 25th on lap 33. Continuing to battle, Suárez maintained his position inside the top 25 until the second caution of afternoon waved on lap 75, signaling the end of segment one.
Under the scheduled caution period, Suárez came down pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments to his ARRIS Camry. Following the stop, the race restarted on lap 83 with Suárez scored in the 21st position.
The caution flag would once again be displayed on lap 118, with Suárez scored in the 24th position. During the caution, Rogers once again called Suárez down pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments to help the ARRIS Camry turn better on exit of the corner. When the race went back green, Suárez was scored in 21st on lap 122.
The caution flag waved once again on lap 150, signaling the end of segment two with Suárez scored in the 23rd position. Once again under the scheduled caution, the ARRIS team went to work, changing four tires, adding fuel and making adjustments to the ARRIS Camry. Suárez restarted the final segment in 22nd on lap 157.
With the changes to the ARRIS Camry working, Suárez battled his way up to the 15th position by lap 213, and was scored in 18th with the seventh caution of the afternoon waved on lap 256. After a lightning-quick pit stop by his ARRIS crew under the caution, Suárez restarted in 14th on lap 261.
Suárez would pick up one spot following the restart, and was scored in 13th when the final caution of the afternoon waved on lap 307. Making a strategy call, Rogers called Suárez down pit road for a two-tire stop and a quick splash of fuel. With the strategy working, Suárez restarted in 12th for the Green-White-Checkered finish on lap 312.
On the restart, Suárez would gain three spots and come to the white flag in ninth, eventually crossing the finish line in the seventh position in his ARRIS Camry, securing his first-career top-10 finish in the MENCS.