Suárez Comes Home 15th in Thunder Valley
Daniel Suárez and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) returned to the track this weekend for their second and final visit of the 2017 season at the famed Bristol Motor Speedway for the "Night Race". Sporting a brand new IRWIN-LENOX Tools paint scheme this weekend at the "Last Great Colosseum", Suárez earned the 12th starting position during qualifying on Friday evening, running a time of 15.244 seconds around the half-mile speedway. Suárez and the IRWIN-LENOX team took the green flag under perfect conditions at 7:42 PM ET on Saturday night. After 500 laps were complete at the half-mile facility, Suárez crossed the finish line in the 15th position.
Following the drop of the green flag, Suárez quickly worked his way to seventh on lap 10 and maintained his position inside the top 10 until lap 50 when he relayed to his IRWIN-LENOX team that the front of his Camry was "Numb" and his car was getting tight as the run moved along. Fighting the tight condition on his car, Suárez slipped to 12th when the first caution of the evening waved on lap 62. During the caution, crew chief Scott Graves called Suárez down pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment to the IRWIN-LENOX Camry. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 13th on lap 67. Continuing to fight a tight handling Camry, Suárez slipped to 17th by lap 100 and was scored in 18th when the caution flag waved once again on lap 125, signaling the end of stage one. Under the caution, Graves once again called Suárez down pit road for another round of adjustments, tires and fuel. Following the stop, Suárez restarted stage two in 17th on lap 135.
Suárez and the IRWIN-LENOX team would consistently run inside the top 15 for the majority of stage two, being scored in 14th when the caution flag waved once again on lap 231. Following a long green-flag run during the stage, Graves once again called Suárez down pit road for four fresh Goodyear Eagles, fuel and adjustments. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 16th on lap 244. The young rookie would pick up two spots in six laps and be scored in 14th on lap 250, the end of stage two. Staying out under the caution, Suárez restarted the final stage in ninth on lap 257.
Following the restart, Suárez slipped to 11th by lap 260, but with the IRWIN-LENOX Camry coming to him during the long run, Suárez worked his way back up seventh by lap 360 and was scored in 10th when the caution flag waved once again on lap 396. Graves once again went to work on the IRWIN-LENOX Camry, calling for four tires, fuel and one final adjustment. Following the stop, Suárez restarted in 12th with 100 laps remaining in the race. The end of the race would see a long green-flag run with Suárez ultimately crossing the finish line in the 15th position in his IRWIN-LENOX Camry.