Daniel Suarez Lands Busch Pole Award in Kentucky


Daniel Suárez was the last to attempt a qualifying lap at the Kentucky Speedway, but he made the most of it by winning his first Busch Pole Award of the season, second of his career, heading into the Quaker State 400. By covering the 1.5-mile track in 29.254 seconds (184.590 mph), Suárez beat out Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Aric Almirola, by .126 seconds.

“We had probably the fastest car in last practice and the fastest car in qualifying, so I’m very proud of my guys, Ford Performance, Haas Automation — everyone who makes this program possible,” said Suárez.

On race day, Daniel Suárez started from the pole position following that impressive qualifying lap. After leading for 49 laps, Suárez paid a visit to pit road for four tires, fuel and a quick adjustment to the front end of his Mustang. Suárez then restarted in 14th on lap 53, following varying pit strategies by the other drivers. Through the next two caution periods, Suárez was able to skillfully maintain in the top-15 for the remainder of the stage and finished in 14th position. During the brake, Suárez’s No. 41 pitted for fuel, two right-side tires and adjustments.

As stage 2 began, the 27-year old Suárez found himself in 10th position. Unfortunately, early into this stage, Suárez reported to his crew that he felt a loose wheel. Continuing until lap 106, the Haas driver then stopped at pit road for four new tires in hopes of correcting this issue. After further review, Suárez’s team was able to determine that the tire had been going down. Suárez then faced a penalty after speeding down pit road. This penalty forced the Ford diver to make a pass down pit road under the green flag. Following the penalty, Suárez was now two laps down and in the 33rd position. After late stage pit stops, Suárez was able to make up one of the laps and end the stage in 29th position, one lap down. During the stage break, Suárez’s Mustang pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

This race earned Suárez his seventh top-10 finish of the season and his first top-10 finish in three career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kentucky. Additionally, Suárez bettered his previous best finish at Kentucky by 7 places – 15th in last year’s Kentucky 400.

Following the race, Suárez said, “It was an eventful night, for sure. We just had a fast racecar, but we got a bit tight. I feel like we made the car better, but we never got the track position back. We had a tire going down and then I was speeding coming to pit road because I was wheel hopping because of the tire. It was one problem after another.”

“We were fast enough to overcome that but not enough to get a better finish. I feel like the good thing is that we have the speed,” said Suarez. “We just have to keep working to have a cleaner day and keep working to try to keep that speed the whole race.”

Date: July 13, 2019
Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 19 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/8th (Running, completed 269 of 269 laps)
Point Standing: 18th with 469 points, 277 out of first

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday, July 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


Source: Stewart-Haas Racing