Although Daniel Suarez‘s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie campaign did not begin as anticipated, he could be headed on the right track now.
After kicking off the season at Daytona with a crash, he posted a pair of top-10 finishes in the following four events, prior to former crew chief Dave Rogers leaving the team. Reunited with Scott Graves whom he won the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship with, the pair had a rocky beginning with only one top-15 finish in five races.
It seems his season is beginning to go well now, as he posted a seventh at Kansas Speedway, followed by an 11th at Charlotte Motor Speedway. On Sunday at Dover International Speedway, he scored his best finish of 2017.
Starting third, he ran inside the top-10 through the beginning half of the race, before falling outside just past halfway. Despite this, his Joe Gibbs Racing team was able to rebound, catching a break with having not pitted before a caution to regain track position and finish sixth.
“I think it was good,” he said. “Like everything, ups, and downs. In the beginning, we were okay, and then, later on, we were pretty bad. We were able to make some adjustments and get back to a top-10. I feel like we had a top-10 car and we ended up right there. I think the entire team is making process and that’s for sure, and I’m very proud of that, and we just have to keep working and keep moving in the same direction.”
With Austin Dillon scoring his first career victory in the Coca-Cola 600, the question now remains who will be next to do so? Suarez is a real possibility as the upcoming tracks have treated him well in the XFINITY Series.
He finished ninth at Pocono Raceway while winning at Michigan International Speedway last year. He also proved in NASCAR’s second-tier division that he could run well on road courses, with a pair of fourths, giving him confidence heading into Sonoma Raceway to round out the month of June.
While the season may not have started as well as he hoped, a victory in the summer would certainly change the tune.
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