Suárez Comes Home 12th in Chicago
Daniel Suárez and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) made their only visit of the 2017 season at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend for the Tales of the Turtles 400 and the first race of the NASCAR Playoffs. Sporting the STANLEY colors once again this weekend in Joliet, IL, Suárez earned the 13th starting position during qualifying on Friday afternoon. Suárez and the STANLEY team took the green flag under overcast skies at just after 2:00 PM local time on Sunday afternoon. After 267 laps were complete at the 1.5-mile facility, Suárez crossed the finish line in the 12th position in his STANLEY Camry.
Following the drop of the green flag, Suárez settled into the 15th position, but with his STANLEY Camry good on the long run, Suárez worked his way up to 12th by lap 30 and was scored in ninth when crew chief Scott Graves called the rookie down pit road for his first green-flag pit stop of the afternoon on lap 40. During the stop, the STANLEY team changed four tires, added fuel and made a round of adjustments to the STANLEY Camry. After a good stop by his crew, Suárez returned to the track and was 11th once pit stops cycled through on lap 48. Suárez picked up two more spots during the next run and was scored in ninth when the first caution flag of the afternoon waved on lap 80, signaling the end of stage one. Under the caution, Graves once again brought Suárez down pit road for a four tire stop and another round of adjustments. Following the stop, Suárez restarted stage two in the ninth positon on lap 87.
Fighting a tight STANLEY Camry on the short run, Suárez slipped to 10th by lap 90 and maintained his positon until making another green-flag pit stop on lap 122. Following a four-tire stop and another round of adjustments, Suárez rejoined the field and was scored in 11th once green-flag pit stops cycled through on lap 125. Losing grip during the long run, Suárez was scored in 12th on lap 160 when the caution flag waved once again, signaling the end of stage two. Under the caution, Graves once again called the young rookie down pit road, this time taking four tires, fuel and making another round of adjustments to the STANLEY Camry. Following the stop, Suárez restarted the final stage in the 12th position on lap 167.
The field settled into another long green-flag run to start the final stage, with Suárez maintaining his position in 12th until the final caution flag waved on lap 210 for a spin in turn four. With new tires at a premium, Graves once again called Suárez down pit road for four tires, fuel and one last adjustment to the STANELY Camry. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 11th on lap 215. Suárez continued to battle for the remaining portion of the race, ultimately crossing the finish line in the 12th position in his STANLEY Camry.