Suarez: Making NASCAR playoffs "wasn't meant to be"

Daniel Suarez got behind in his bid to make the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs and on Sunday finally ran out of time.

Suarez: Making NASCAR playoffs "wasn't meant to be"
 Daniel Suarez, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation
 Daniel Suarez, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation
Daniel Suarez, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation

It was going to take a strong run in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 for Suarez to even have a chance to crack the 16-driver playoff field. He entered the race tied with Ryan Newman for the last spot in the field.

Hitting the wall on Lap 10 of 160 only put himself in a bigger hole. He twice pit under caution while his team worked on his right-side damage and restarted the race in 35th.

It was a long climb back to the front where he finally finished 11th. It was a good rebound but Newman finished eighth and claimed the last playoff spot by four points.

“I made a little mistake there. I wasn’t expecting how aero loose the car got when I got behind (William Byron). The car actually was pretty good after that, though,” said Suarez, in his first season at Stewart-Haas Racing. 

“The guys were able to fix it. It was mostly cosmetic. The guys were able to fix it and the car was just as good as before. I feel like after that the day went smooth other than getting caught in the pit road cycle on the last stop.”

Losing track position

Suarez had just pit for his final stop of the race when a caution came out. He received the free pass, preventing him from going a lap down, but still restarted – again – from the back of the field.

“That made us lose all our track position and it was very difficult to overcome that. We fought hard. We made it all the way back to 11th and I feel like if we had 15 more laps I was going to get (Newman) but that is racing. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

Asked about his emotions on not advancing to the playoffs, Suarez said: “A little disappointed. I feel like our team has been okay this year and we deserved to be in there. It is what it is. We have made some mistakes this year. 

“We just weren’t good enough this weekend. Qualifying was wide-open and we qualified 20th. We just didn’t have the straightaway speed this weekend for whatever reason. We have to keep working on it and try to keep getting better.”

Read Also:

shares
comments
Promoted: Blink of an Eye, From Triumph to Tragedy premieres 9/12
Previous article

Promoted: Blink of an Eye, From Triumph to Tragedy premieres 9/12

Next article

DiBenedetto in at Wood Brothers in 2020, Menard retires

DiBenedetto in at Wood Brothers in 2020, Menard retires
Load comments
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021