Suárez Caps West Coast Swing With 23rd-Place Finish at Auto Club Speedway
Daniel Suárez finished 23rd in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. With the finish, Suárez and the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry team are ranked 23rd in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings as the series caps off its three-week West Coast Swing.
Suárez started the race from the rear of the field after going to a backup car due to an accident in Friday’s opening practice. His immediate feedback regarding the handling of the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry was that the car was very loose as Suárez began his move up the leaderboard. By the time the first caution waved at Lap 38, the No. 19 Camry had moved up to 21st. A fast pit stop by the ARRIS crew vaulted Suárez to 18th for the ensuing restart. The Monterrey, Mexico native was able to gain another two positions on track to end the opening stage 16th.
Another great pit stop elevated Suárez to 13th to start the second stage. As the race ran green for most of the stage, Suárez battled his way to as high as 11th before a caution at Lap 109. Suárez was able to restart ninth with seven laps remaining in the second stage, but he reported that his car was plowing tight as he slipped back to 17th at the conclusion of the stage.
During the final stage, the second-year driver worked to regain lost track position as he hovered in the lower half of the top 20. When Suárez made his final green-flag pit stop at Lap 160, NASCAR deemed his Camry to have been too fast on pit road, resulting in a pass-through penalty. After serving his penalty, Suárez rejoined the race one lap down in 26th. Over the final laps, he was able to recover three positions to ultimately finish the race 23rd.