Suárez Rolls to 29th Place at Richmond
T-TEN Toyota Best Early and Late During Long, Green-Flag Runs
Date: Sept. 12, 2020
Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Round 28 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/155 laps/165 laps)
Start/Finish: 28th / 29th (Running, completed 396 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 31st with 295 points
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Started 28th, finished 31st.
● Suárez and his T-TEN Toyota Camry moved up to 25th by lap three but then sat 29th when the competition caution flag waved on lap 30. He reported his racecar was loose on corner entry and exit and tight in the center. He pitted during the competition caution for four tires, fuel, right-side track bar, wedge, and air pressure adjustments in the right front and both rear tires. He restarted 30th when the race went back to green on lap 37.
● The caution flag waved to end the stage on lap 80 with Suárez in the 31st position. He asked to have his racecar freed up more in the center of the corner and for help with forward drive off the corners. He pitted for tires and fuel and air pressure adjustments during the break.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-235):
● Started 27th, finished 29th.
● Suárez didn’t report any specific issues during the long run to his green-flag pit stop on lap 160. He pitted from 14th for tires, fuel and more track bar and air pressure adjustments and resumed in 31st.
● The race continued green all the way to the end of the stage, when Suárez crossed the line 29th and two laps down. He pitted during the break for four tires, fuel, more track bar adjustments and packer removed from both fronts.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 236-400):
● Started 29th, finished 29th.
● While the team employed a one-stop strategy in the previous stage, it opted for a two-stop strategy in the final stage. Suárez was running 28th, three laps down, when he made his first stop under green on lap 296. He took four tires, fuel, air pressure adjustments and resumed.
● Suárez’s final scheduled stop came on lap 344 while he was running 29th, three laps down. He took four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to get him to the scheduled end of the race.
● And the race ended up running all the way from start to finish without an incident-related caution. Suárez crossed the line 29th.
Daniel Suárez, driver of the No. 96 T-TEN Toyota Camry for Gaunt Brothers Racing:
“We need to keep working hard to find speed. Our T-TEN Toyota was loose on entry and exit and tight in the center the first part of the race. We worked to make it better, where it was pretty good on new tires in the first part of the run and really good on old tires the last part of the run. We just struggled during the middle part of those long runs. Like I said, we just need to keep working hard to find more speed. Let’s go to Bristol, where we had one of our best finishes of the season, and try to do even better.”
● Brad Keselowski won the Federated Auto Parts 400 to score his 34th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fourth of the season and his second at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr., was 1.568 seconds.
● There were three caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Only 11 of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Richmond with a 21-point advantage over second-place Denny Hamlin.
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule for Suárez and Gaunt Brothers Racing is the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. It starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.