Suárez Finishes 25th on the Charlotte Roval

Suárez Finishes 25th on the Charlotte Roval NK Photography Photo

Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Ty Dillon of Germain Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):

Started 34th, finished 31st.

● With the field starting on rain tires in mostly wet conditions around the “roval” circuit, Suárez and his Coca-Cola Toyota Camry picked up five spots by the time the competition caution flag flew on lap 10. He and crew chief Dave Winston agreed the track wasn’t dry enough to switch to racing slicks, so they opted to stay out during the caution in favor of track position. He restarted 19th when the race went back to green on lap 12.

● The track dried fairly quickly during the next run and Suárez had dropped back to 25th when the caution flag flew for a single-car incident on lap 22, three laps from the scheduled end of the stage. He brought his Coca-Cola Camry to pit road on lap 23 for fuel and to switch to slick tires and wholesale track bar and wedge adjustments across the rear. He restarted 32nd on lap 24 for the one-lap shootout to the end of the stage and picked up one position along the way. He then stayed on track during the stage break.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):

Started 23rd, finished 25th.

The stage stayed green until the caution flag flew on lap 46 for a single-car incident with Suárez and his Coca-Cola Camry running 25th. He pitted for tires and fuel with air pressure adjustments all round and a track-bar adjustment, and restarted 28th when the race went back to green on lap 48.

Suárez picked up a pair of positions in the final two-lap sprint to the end of the stage. He again stayed out during the break.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 51-109):

Started 18th, finished 25th.

The opening lap of the final stage turned out to be chaotic as Suárez had to dodge multiple incidents. He got through almost unscathed, sustaining damage to the right front of his Coca-Cola Toyota Camry but not significant enough to warrant repair work. He was up to 17th before dropping back to 22nd and settling there for the time being on lap 55.

Suárez dropped five more positions in the run to the next caution flag for a single-car incident on lap 64, saying he was fighting brake issues. He pitted for tires, fuel and repair work to the damaged right front of the Coca-Cola Toyota. He restarted 34th when the race went back to green on lap 67 after a second trip to pit road to inspect and complete the repairs.

The caution flag flew again two laps later for a single-car incident with Suárez having moved up to 32nd. He pitted for fresh tires and to top off the fuel tank for the run to the scheduled finish and restarted 32nd when the race went back to green on lap 72.

Suárez picked up five positions in the run to the next caution flag on lap 85. Calling for help on the long runs, he headed to pit road for fresh tires, and restarted 24th when the race went back to green on lap 89.

Suárez was running 26th when the caution flag flew for another single-car incident on lap 97. He pitted for one last set of fresh tires with 12 laps to go to the finish. He restarted 30th when the race went back to green on lap 99.

The Monterrey, Mexico native picked up one more spot the rest of the way, taking the checkered flag 25th in his Hispanic Heritage Month-themed Coca-Cola Toyota Camry.

 

Daniel Suárez, driver of the No. 96 Coca-Cola Toyota Camry for Gaunt Brothers Racing:

“We came here with pretty good expectations but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. We started out on a wet track but it ended up drying pretty quickly. Our Coca-Cola Camry was pretty decent – I think better than a 25th-place car – but we ended up struggling with the brakes and that is not a good thing on a road course. It made it pretty tough to race people all day.”

 

Race Notes:

● Today’s finish marked the ninth top-25 of the season for the No. 96 Coca-Cola Toyota Camry.

● Chase Elliott won the Bank of America Roval 400 to score his ninth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his second at the Roval 400. His margin of victory over second-place Joey Logano was 3.895 seconds.

● There were nine caution periods for a total of 16 laps.

● Thirty-two of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

● Kevin Harvick leaves the Roval 400 as the championship leader with a 13-point advantage over second-place Denny Hamlin.

 

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule for Suárez and Gaunt Brothers Racing is the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

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