NMTS: Suárez Sneaks One Out in the Desert

RaceChaser Staff Featured, International, NASCAR, West 0 Comments

March 1, 2014 — By Shon Sbarra, NASCAR — Getty Images for NASCAR — AVONDALE, Ariz. – With his winning ways, Daniel Suárez probably should buy a lottery ticket.

Suárez, of Monterrey, Mexico, rebounded from a pit road mistake to win the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series season-opening Toyota 120 Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.

After starting from the outside pole position, Suárez quickly got around pole sitter Rubén Pardo and held the lead until a Lap 46 stop for fuel when he was nabbed for speeding on pit road. The resulting pass-through penalty put Suárez at the tail of the field.

From there he methodically marched through the field and was in the top three before Lap 90. Over the final 10 laps, Suárez waged a nip-and-tuck battle with Antonío Peréz with the latter holding the edge throughout, until the final lap. Suárez shortcut the backstretch dogleg to gain the advantage and score his sixth career Toyota Series triumph.

The 22-year-old driver has strung together four straight NASCAR touring series victories. He started the run in the Toyota Series’ 2013 season finale in Mexico City last November. Then, he launched his 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East campaign with a pair of wins earlier this month.

Defending series champion Rodrigo Peralta also got past Peréz on the last circuit to record a runner-up finish. Luis Felipe Montaño and Pardo finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The balance of the top 10 was made up of José Luis Ramírez, Rubén Garcia Jr., Rafael Martínez, Freddy Tame Jr. and Mario Dominguez.

As a member of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity initiative, Suárez also competes fulltime in the K&N Pro Series East for Rev Racing and is also part of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

With the win, Suárez becomes the first driver to concurrently lead two NASCAR series in points since Kyle Busch led the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series early in the 2009 season. At the touring series level, it hasn’t been done since recent NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik won both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships in 1998.

The NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series opens the 2014 season in Mexico on April 5 at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.

 

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