February 27, 2014 — By John Tejada, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications — Getty Images for NASCAR — AVONDALE, Ariz. – Daniel Suarez topped the charts in the Wednesday’s final NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series practice at Phoenix International Raceway.
Suarez, from Monterrey, Mexico, scored a fast-lap time of 28.978 seconds which translates to an average speed of 124.232 mph on the one-mile oval. The 22-year-old NASCAR Next driver was nearly half a second quicker than the series track record of 29.485 seconds, set by Jorge Goeters in last year’s inaugural event. Suarez, who also runs full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with Rev Racing, enters the weekend looking to extend a three-race winning streak. He won the final Toyota Series event of the 2013 season in Mexico City, and opened up 2014 with two wins in two days at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway and the short-track at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Ruben Pardo held down the second position with a time of 28.999 seconds (124.142 mph). Defending series champion Rodrigo Peralta, making his Phoenix debut, was third with a time of 29.004 seconds (124.121 mph), followed by Jose Luis Ramirez at 29.097 seconds (123.724 mph) and Enrique Contreras III at 29.182 secoonds (123.724 mph).
Rafael Martinez, Ruben Garcia Jr., Rogelio Lopez, Hugo Oliveras and last year’s race winner Abraham Calderon rounded out the top-10 performers in the day’s final practice.
Antonio Perez led the first practice session with a fast-lap of 28.961 seconds (124.305 mph), but did not take time during the final practice. He was followed by Suarez, Pardo, Oliveras and Ruben Garcia Jr.
Homero Richards returned to the garage before recording a lap during the first session due to mechanical problems. He did not take time during the day’s final practice.
The NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series will be back on track on Thursday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. for another practice session. On Friday, series drivers will have final practice at 10 a.m., followed by qualifying at 1:40 p.m., with green flag for the Toyota 120 scheduled for 7:12 p.m.