Suárez Comes Home 24th following Late-Race Damage in Michigan
Rolling into the Irish Hills of Michigan for race 15 of the 2017 season, Daniel Suárez and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) returned to the track this weekend at Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers Casino 400. After earning the 20th starting position during qualifying on Friday afternoon, Suárez and the STANLEY team took the green flag at 3:07 PM ET. After 200-laps were complete at the Jackson, MI facility, Suárez crossed the finish line in the 24th position following damage suffered in a late-race accident.
Having to drop to the rear of the field for the start of the race after having to change a left rear tire following qualifying on Friday, Suárez picked up 11 sports by lap 11 and was scored in 21st when the competition caution waved on lap 25. During the caution, crew chief Scott Graves call the young rookie down pit road for two right side tires, fuel and a round of adjustments on the STANLEY Camry. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 14th on lap 29. Following the lap 29 restart, Suárez relayed to his STANLEY team that his Camry was tight in turns one & two. Fighting the tight condition, Suárez slipped to 17th by lap 43 and was scored in 19th when the caution flag once again waved on lap 60, signaling the end of stage one. During the caution, Graves once again called Suárez down pit road for a four tire stop and fuel. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 18th on lap 67, the start of stage two.
Following the restart, Suárez picked up four spots and was scored in 14th on lap 68. Continuing to battle a tight STANLEY Camry on the short run, Suárez slipped to 19th by lap 81 and was scored in 17th at the races’ half-way mark. With green-flag pit stops starting on lap 110, Suárez hit pit road on lap 111 from the eighth position four a four tire stop. Once green-flag pit stops cycled through on lap 115, Suárez and the STANLEY team were scored in the 19th position. Continuing to battle, Suárez picked up on spot following the stop, and was scored in 18th when the caution flag once again waved on lap 120, signaling the end of stage two. With some teams hitting pit road under the caution, the STANLEY team stayed out and restarted in 10th on lap 127.
Following another great restart, Suárez picked up four spots and was scored in seventh on lap 128. Battling a loose in/ tight off Camry, Suárez slipped to 12th when the caution flag waved once again on lap 150. During the caution, Graves called Suárez down pit road once again for a four tire stop. Following the stop, Suárez returned to the track in the 19th position. Maintaining his position following the restart, Suárez was scored in 19th when the caution flag once again waved on lap 180. Staying out under the caution, Suárez restarted in 12th on lap 185 after some teams came down pit road to pit. A quick caution would come out just one lap later, setting up a 10-lap shootout to end the race. Unfortunately, on the lap 191 restart, a couple of cars checked up in front of Suárez, causing him to check up and receive damage to the STANLEY Camry. After pitting to repair the damage, Suárez restarted in 26th and worked his way up to the 24th position when the checkered-flag waved on lap 200.