Daniel Suarez is getting quite the education in stock car racing this year.
And he’s passing with high marks.
With only three NASCAR national series starts to his credit entering this season, Suarez has competed in 39 races in 2015 across the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series, claiming 13 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes. He ranks seventh in the XFINITY series standings and has failed to post a top-10 showing just once in his nine NCWTS starts.
Still, he is searching for his first NASCAR national series win. Suarez gets his next chance to capture that elusive first victory in Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET on FS1) – a track where he started 11th and finished sixth in March.
“We had a good run (at Martinsville) earlier in the season and I think I’m a much different driver and we’re a better team than we were back then,” Suarez said. “We’ve been through a lot together as a team since then and I think that will help us going back to a track we’ve already run before.”
Also, working in Suarez’s favor is that his Kyle Busch Motorsports team has won the last four fall races at Martinsville. Bubba Wallace took the checkered flag at the .526-mile track the last two seasons, while Denny Hamlin visited Victory Lane there in 2011 and 2012.
“Our trucks have come a long ways since the spring race, as has Daniel (Suarez),” said Jerry Baxter, crew chief of the No. 51 truck Suarez will wheel. “He is a completely different driver at this point than he was several months ago. The biggest difference is the experience that he has gained in that time, which I think will be the biggest help on Saturday. Our team has won there twice in the last two years so I am confident in the weekend being successful.”