Event: Coca-Cola 600 (Round 13 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into four stages (100 laps/100 laps/100 laps/100 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/18th (Running, completed 399 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 13th (334 points, 185 out of first)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 3 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):
● Daniel Suárez started Stage 1 from the sixth position and ended the stage 11th.
● Suárez made his first pit stop from sixth on lap 23 for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with his tight condition. He restarted eighth.
● The second caution came out on lap 48, and the Coca-Cola driver reported his Mustang remained tight. He pitted from sixth for fuel, four tires and more adjustments and restarted fifth on lap 54.
● The third caution of the evening was displayed on lap 73, and the Ford driver pitted from seventh for service to his Mustang. He restarted 13th on lap 78 after varying pit strategies.
● Suárez stayed out through two more cautions and ended the stage 11th. He pitted during the Stage 1 break for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help his ill-handling Mustang.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):
● The No. 41 driver started Stage 2 in 17th and completed it 28th.
● The next caution was displayed on lap 127, and Suárez stayed out in an effort to preserve a set of fresh Goodyear tires after the team used a set earlier than expected during Stage 1.
● Suárez restarted fifth. As the run continued his Mustang remained tight, and he dropped back to 20th.
● On lap 157, Suárez made a scheduled green-flag pit stop for fuel, four tires and adjustments. An ill-timed caution on lap 161 caught Suárez two laps down.
● Suárez stayed out and took the wave-around to gain one lap back and restarted 32nd.
● When the next caution came out on lap 188, Suárez remained one lap down in 30th. He pitted for fuel and four tires and to allow the crew to address a little body damage.
● After the restart Suárez worked his way into the free-pass position, of which he was the beneficiary at the end of Stage 2 to put him back on the lead lap.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 201-300):
● Suárez began the stage 28th and concluded it in 21st.
● The 11th caution was displayed on lap 250, and Suárez visited pit road from 17th to receive service from the No. 41 pit crew. He restarted 15th on lap 257.
● He slipped back to 21st, where he ended the stage.
● During the Stage 3 break, the Coca-Cola driver pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with his tight condition.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 301-400):
● Suárez began the final stage in 17th and concluded it in 18th.
● The Mexico native made his first pit stop of the final stage on lap 319 under caution for fuel and more adjustments for his tight-handling machine. He restarted in the top-20.
● When the caution was once again displayed on lap 359, Suárez pitted from 14th for fuel, four tires and adjustments, and restarted 11th.
● Suárez was in the top-15 when the final caution of the race displayed with 10 laps to go. He pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments but received a penalty for pitting outside of the box. The penalty put him one lap down in the 18th position where he ended the evening.
● Martin Truex Jr., won the Coca Cola 600 to score his 22nd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his third at Charlotte. His margin of victory over second-place Joey Logano was .330 of a second.
● There were 16 caution periods for a total of 80 laps.
● Only 17 of the 40 drivers in the Coca-Cola 600 finished on the lead lap.
● Logano and Kyle Busch leave Charlotte tied for the championship lead with a 41-point advantage over third-place Harvick.
Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 41 Coca-Cola Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Our Coca-Cola Ford Mustang was tight most of the night, but my guys kept working on it. We came back from being two laps down, and they just never gave up on adjusting the car. Unfortunately, on the last pit stop we had a penalty and that put us one lap down to end the night 18th.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Pocono 400 on Sunday, June 2 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.