Having fallen only short from Saturday Night’s Main All-Star Race, Daniel Suarez is looking to make Charlotte Motor Speedway his fortress.
Suarez won the 2nd Stage of the initial qualifying race phase before coming out on top by a couple of seconds behind Kevin Harvick by the checkered flag of the main event.
That’s because the No.19 team made the best advantage of the track bar adjustment which helped Suarez’s momentum all night round.
Race Recap from the Monster Energy Open
Daniel Suarez started out from 7th where he maintained his position throughout the first stage.
But, Suarez had a great start towards the restart of Stage 2 where he took over Erik Jones for the lead.
Suarez maintained his line to block Chase Elliott as much as he can to come home 1st in Stage 2 of the Monster Energy Open.
That win granted him a spot in the Main All-Star Race, so he doesn’t need to race in the final stage of the initial qualifying race.
Suarez’s Main All-Star Race Review
Suarez then started out in 19th as he climbed out a few positions up to 10th in Stage 1.
The No.19 Toyota Camry looked a bit free during the Open race.
So, Crew Chief Scott Graves helped Suarez make advantage of the track bar during the stage break.
That’s where Kyle Busch re-started on the front row alongside Suarez at the start of Stage 2.
The two-three huge battles can become a yo-yo at any moment but Suarez still running in P2.
He did try to use the inside line to try and pass Kyle Busch during the white flag.
But it’s too little, too late as Kyle Busch swooped the victory of the second segment.
Brad Keselowski won the race off pit road of Suarez and his Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Kyle Busch before the Stage 3 restart.
Though, a crash involving Kasey Kahne into the wall saw Suarez moving back to his usual outside lane by blocking Larson in 3rd.
Suarez got a gentle push from his other team-mate Denny Hamlin following the Alex Bowman crash at the restart.
But, another multi-car pileup involving Truex, Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer saw both Hamlin and Suarez competing for each other towards the lead.
Hamlin does briefly clear the No.19 at the restart.
Though, Suarez held his lead for a short time before Kevin Harvick swooped him for the Stage 3 win.
Final Ten Lap Shootout
Suarez tried to use the inside line with the hope of the package would close the gap to Harvick.
He had set consistent lap times throughout Saturday’s night All-Star Race.
But, he fell only short to Kevin Harvick for the Main Event victory and the $1,000,000 prize money.
Though, Suarez took home with the $250,000 for finishing in 2nd.
All-Star Race Overall Record
- Four Appearances, Two each from Monster Energy Open and Main All-Star Races
- 243 of 263 Laps Completed
- 27 Laps Led
- Two Top 5 and ten finishes
- Highest Starting Spot: 6th, Monster Energy Open 2017 & 19th, All-Star Race 2017 & 2018
- Best Finish: 1st, Monster Energy Open 2017 & 2nd, All-Star Race 2018
Daniel Suarez’s Charlotte Motor Speedway Record
He made two Cup appearances at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017.
In the Coca-Cola 600, Suarez started from 20th before finishing out in an okay 11th place.
Seven months ago, Suarez raced away from 14th to posting his best finish in the Queen City of 6th.
That P6 finish represented his only Top 10 finish coming to this weekend in Concord, North Carolina.
Suarez’s Charlotte Motor Speedway Cup Record Summary
- Two Events
- 737 of 737 Laps Completed, 100%
- Highest Starting Spot: 14th, October 2017
- Best Finish: 6th, October 2017
- One Top 10, 50%
- Average Start: 17 & Finish: 8.5
- Average Driver Rating: 84.9
Daniel Suarez’s 2018 Season So Far.
- 12 Starts
- 3692 of 3902 Laps Completed, 94.6%
- Six Laps Led
- Highest Starting Spot: 4th in February 2018 at Atlanta.
- Best Championship Points Finish: 3rd in May 2018 at Dover
- Top Non-Championship Run: 2nd in May 2018 during the All-Star Race (Non-Championship Points) at Charlotte.
- One Top 5, 8.3%
- Four Top 10 finishes, 33.3%
- Average Start: 16.2 & Finish: 18.2
- DNF: One, Crash (Daytona 500)
- He currently sits 21st in the Drivers’ Standings with 223 points.
Bravo job to Crew Chief Scott Graves and Spotter Chris Osborne of getting the job done to help Suarez finish the best he can.
Suarez has a learned a lot of positive things along the way from the very start where he had to qualify for the main event out of nothing.
It’s incredible to see Suarez and the No.19 Toyota Camry by sticking with their instincts and see what it is like to reach until the end of the finish line.
Yes, they’ve made it comfortably as high as 2nd with $250,000 check written on Suarez’s name.
Suarez could’ve done a bit better if he could’ve used the outside line a bit more, then that way it would’ve helped him block Harvick and won the All-Star Race.
Apart from that, Suarez has demonstrated his pure ability to show his fans that he can surprise the whole field for upcoming races.
So, Suarez and the No.19 crew are working hard all week at Joe Gibbs Racing’s Race Shop by analyzing their pros and cons.
Then, the No.19 army is looking to demonstrate what they did in the All-Star Race from Saturday & finish out Sunday night on a high note.
That means a first Top 5 finish at Charlotte would mean thumbs up for Daniel Suarez.
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Image Source: Racing Reference.
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