DANIEL SUÁREZ – 2019 Michigan I Race Report

Event:               FireKeepers Casino 400(Round 15 of 36)
Series:               Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2.0-mile oval)
Format:            200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish:      9th/4th (Running, completed 203 of 203 laps)
Point Standing:13th (401 points, 213 out of first)
Note:                Race extended three laps past its scheduled 200-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish. 

Race Winner:    Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):

  • Daniel Suárez started Stage 1 from the ninth position and ended the stage 16th.
  • Suárez was in the 20th position when the competition caution came out on lap 20.
  • He reported his Mustang was free on entry. Crew chief Billy Scott brought Suárez to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment on lap 22.
  • Suárez restarted 21stand fell back on the restart to 25th, but as his handling began to improve with 15 laps left in Stage 1, he moved up to the 16thposition.
  • During the Stage 1 break Suárez pitted for four tires and fuel with no adjustments, as he was happy with the handling of the Haas Automation Mustang. He lined up 17thfor the start of Stage 2.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):

  • The No. 41 driver started Stage 2 in 17thand completed it in 12th.
  • The third caution of the race occurred on lap 70, with Suárez saying the No. 41 Mustang fired off good on the restart. He came to pit road for fuel only on lap 71.
  • Suárez restarted 12thon lap 75 and quickly moved into the top-10.
  • On lap 91, Suárez made a pass for the eighth position but lost his momentum in the bottom groove and dropped back to 14th.
  • With 20 laps remaining in Stage 2, Suárez reported from the 15thposition that the Haas Automation Mustang was tight on exit.
  • Suárez completed the stage in 12thafter the leaders were forced to pit for fuel. He pitted during the Stage 2 break for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-203):

  • Suárez began the final stage in 22ndand concluded it fourth.
  • Suárez restarted 22ndas a result of several cars in the top-10 pitting for right-side tires, and he was able to move up to the 10thposition before the caution came out on lap 131.
  • Following another caution and a restart on lap 141, Suárez moved from the 10thposition into fourth.
  • Suárez took over the lead on lap 175 and pitted on lap 176 under green for right-side tires and fuel.
  • The final caution of the race occurred on lap 197, and Suárez lined up sixth for the lap-201 restart.
  • Working with teammate Kevin Harvick, Suárez was able to advance to the fourth position for the conclusion of the FireKeepers 400.

Notes:

  • Suárez earned his second top-five and sixth top-10 of the season.
  • Suárez’s fourth-place result bettered his previous best finish at Michigan – 11thin the series’ previous visit to the track last August. This was his fifth career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Michigan.
  • Suárez has finished inside the top-10 for two straight weeks. He was eighth last week at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
  • Suárez led a single lap to increase his laps-led total at Michigan to four.
  • Joey Logano won the FireKeepers Casino 400 to score his 23rdcareer Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his third at Michigan. His margin of victory over second-place Kurt Busch was .147 of a second.
  • There were seven caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
  • Twenty-five of the 36 drivers in the FireKeepers Casino 400 finished on the lead lap.
  • Logano leaves Michigan as the new championship leader with a nine-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.

Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Demo Day Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

“The car was pretty strong the entire weekend and then again today. We just struggled for whatever reasons on the long runs in the first half of the race. We were able to make some adjustments and come back, and I am proud of my guys. We still have some work to do, but we are slowly heading into the right direction.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 23 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.