February 19, 2014 — By Jason Cunningham, NASCAR — Getty Images photo — DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daniel Suarez isn’t slowing down.
The 22-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico, made it 2-for-2 in 2014 with a dominant performance on the short track at Daytona International Speedway Tuesday to capture the UNOH Battle At The Beach.
Suarez led the final 119 circuits of the 150-lap event for his third career win. He won the season-opener on Sunday at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway, just down the road from Daytona, and in the process became the first driver since Sean Caisse in 2006 to start a K&N Pro Series East season by winning the first two races on the schedule.
Suarez also delivered Rev Racing and NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program its 14th victory since 2010. His first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win was earned in 2013 at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway.
Austin Hill crossed the finish line second at the .37-mile oval at “The World Center of Racing,” while Brandon McReynolds was third.
Nick Drake and Lee Pulliam rounded out the top five.
Kenzie Ruston was sixth, followed by Gray Gaulding, Patrick Staropoli, Scott Heckert and Kaz Grala.
Ben Rhodes, who earned the 21 Means 21 Pole Award by Coors Brewing earlier in the day, settled for a 15th-place finish after he suffered damage from an incident midway through the event.
The UNOH Battle At The Beach doubleheader, which also included a NASCAR Whelen Modified/NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour special event, aired live on Fox Sports 2. The K&N portion of the event will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1. Suarez’s New Smyrna win will air on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday at 9 a.m.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will continue its 2014 campaign with the PittLite 125 on March 15 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.