Event: Richmond 400(Round 9 of 36)
Series: Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (100 laps/100 laps/200 laps)
Start/Finish: 33rd/18th (Running, completed 399 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 12th (235 points, 165 out of first)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):
● Daniel Suárez started Stage 1 from the 33rd position and ended the stage 10th. He earned one bonus point.
● Suárez worked his way up to 21st before the competition caution on lap 40.
● Reporting the No. 41 Mustang was free on entry, he pitted on lap 43 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment and restarted 15th on lap 47.
● At the end of Stage 1, Suárez said he needed more forward drive on exit. He pitted from the 10th position for four tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment.
● Suárez restarted 11th for the start of Stage 2.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):
● The No. 41 driver started Stage 2 in 11th and completed it in sixth to earn five bonus points.
● Under caution on lap 131, Suárez came down pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments after reporting no improvement to the handling of the No. 41 Ford. He restarted 12th on lap 136.
● Suárez worked his way back into the top-10 on the restart and drove to the sixth position to finish Stage 2 just outside of the top-five.
● The Mexico native was happy with the handling of the No. 41 and pitted on lap 205 for four fresh tires and fuel.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 201-400):
● Suárez began the final stage in sixth and concluded it in 18th.
● When the fifth caution of the night occurred on lap 242, Suárez said he was too tight in the center of the turn at the beginning of the stage but that it had started to improve.
● Suárez pitted for four tires and fuel on lap 246 and lined up 13th for the lap-250 restart after a slow stop.
● Making a scheduled pit stop under green on lap 317, Suárez received four tires, fuel and adjustments to help the No. 41 Ford turn.
● Suárez was too fast entering pit road and lost a lap to the leaders after completing his pass-through penalty.
● Running in the 22nd position, one lap down, Suárez continued to fight a tight handling condition in the center of turns and was unable to advance his position for the next 50 laps.
● Suárez eventually found his rhythm, moving up to the 18th position over the course of the final 15 laps.
● Suárez finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn one bonus point and sixth in Stage 2 to earn five more bonus points.
● Martin Truex Jr. won the Richmond 400 to score his 20th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Joey Logano was .178 of a second.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 41 laps.
● Only 16 of the 37 drivers in the Richmond 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Kyle Busch remains the championship leader after Richmond with a 20-point advantage over second-place Logano.
Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a difficult race tonight, especially after my mistake on pit road. Our Haas Automation Ford Mustang was very good early in the race during the long green-flag run, but we couldn’t make the adjustments to stay that way until the end. It was tough to get through traffic and get spots back after we went down a lap. We learned a lot and we have a good team, so we will come back later this year and be better.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the GEICO 500 on Sunday, April 28 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.