Suárez Brings Home Solid Top-10 Finish In Season-Opening Race at Daytona
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rolled into Daytona International Speedway (DIS) for the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona to start the 2017 season. After rain postponed the 75-lap event until Sunday Morning, Daniel Suárez looked to kick-off his rookie season in the Cup series on a high note during the 75-lap shootout in his brand new 2018 Toyota Camry. The 25-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico did just that, bringing his No. 19 ARRIS Toyota home with a solid eighth-place finish for Joe Gibbs Racing.
After a random draw was held on Friday afternoon to determine the starting lineup, Suárez and his No. 19 ARRIS team started 16th for the season-opening event. Following the drop of the green flag, Suárez settled into the draft and started working his way towards the front. The 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion was scored in the 13th position when the first caution of the afternoon came out on lap 17 for a wreck in turn four. During the caution, crew chief Dave Rogers called Suárez down pit road to change four tires and add fuel to his ARRIS Camry. Following the pit stop, Suárez restarted ninth on Lap 22.
Following the restart, Suárez and his JGR teammates would play pit strategy and short pit on lap 24 for fuel only just before the NASCAR mandated competition caution came out on Lap 25. With the strategy working, Suárez picked up seven spots and restarted in second on lap 30.
Suárez and his JGR teammate, Denny Hamlin, would continue to occupy the top two spots through two more cautions and until the last lap of the race, when the field got three and sometimes four-wide coming to the finish line. Following a wild last-lap dash to the finish, Suárez would cross the finish line in eighth and bring home a top-10 finish for his first time in Cup competition.