Photo by Jerry Markland
Daniel Suarez clinched his first career NASCAR Xfinity victory during the Saturday afternoon Menard’s 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
Suarez passed Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch in the closing laps of the event. Busch dominated the event, leading 88 of the 125 laps, but came up short for his fifth Xfinity Series victory this season. He finished second.
Suarez was penalized after speeding during a pitstop on lap 32, but gradually recovered to battle for the win.
“I just have no words honestly. I don’t think I can speak English or Spanish right now honestly,” Suarez said. “I can’t thank these guys enough for all the hard work.”
It was only a matter of time that Suarez would be in victory lane. Suarez was the 2015 rookie of the year and has continued his momentum this season. Suarez currently leads the Xfinity standings 18 points ahead of JR Motorsports driver Elliott Sadler.
“Honestly, I was trying as hard as possible. I was driving a little more on the edge,” Suarez said. “Honestly, I was maybe risking a little more than I should have. Everything was about the win so I was trying as hard as possible and it seemed like we were good in points, but not very good in wins. I was just very hungry and I know this team was at the same spot, we were very hungry to win races and finally we got the first one.”
Suarez dedicated the win to Erik Jones and his late father, who passed away Tuesday after battling cancer. Jones took to Twitter before the race to announce the news. Jones displayed his father’s name on the No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota instead of his own to pay tribute. He finished fourth.
Suarez won by 0.281 seconds on his 48th start. He looks for his second win June 19th, 1:30 PM/ET on FS1.