Suarez Claims First NCWTS Victory
After an unexpected turn of events within the final laps of the Lucas Oil 150, Daniel Suarez was able to capture the checkered flag at Phoenix International Raceway. This is Suarez’s first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. With Suarez’s victory, Toyota was able to clinch the manufacturer’s championship in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition.
“I guess it was about time to get a little bit of luck. We had a lot of second-place finishes and this team, KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) works very hard. What a better way to clinch the Toyota manufacturer’s championship with this victory. I’m very proud of my team, proud of Toyota and proud to be a part of this family. Very proud to be talking to you right now,” said Suarez post race.
The first half of the race saw the caution flew for a spin by Myatt Snider in turn one on the first lap. Despite the early caution, William Byron was able to set sail away from the field. The caution flew again for a spin by Spencer Gallagher, who made hard contact into the turn one wall. When the field went back to green, the race went back to yellow quickly for a spin by Noah Gragson, who got loose in a three way battle with Austin Cindric and Matt Tifft. Tifft was left unscathed from the accident. When the field went back to green, the caution flew again for a spin by Tommy Joe Martins. Suarez was the race leader at the time the caution fell. However, Byron was able to take the lead on lap 48, and continued his charge away from the field. As the caution clock had five minutes remaining, the caution flew for Jordan Anderson. Tyler Reddick opted for two tires to take the race lead. However, Byron was able to grab back the lead within the opening lap of the restart. At the halfway point, Byron was the leader, Reddick was second, Christopher Bell was third, Suarez was fourth, and Cameron Hayley rounded out the top-five.
The second half of the race started out with a caution with contact for Kaz Grala and Rico Abreu. However, the caution flew shortly after the race went back green for a spin by Cindric. Byron was able to get another strong restart. However, Byron began to experience trouble as the race winded down. Byron told his team that his motor was blowing up. Suarez was able to grab the lead, and hold on to win the race. Sauter finished second, Matt Crafton finished third, Hayley finished fourth, and Timothy Peters rounded out the five.
With his engine woes late in the race, Byron was unable to advance into the final four at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Ben Kennedy struggled throughout this round to also miss the championship round. Sauter, Crafton, Bell, and Peters will race for championship next weekend at Homestead.
The Lucas Oil 150 saw five lead changes among three different drivers and nine cautions for 49 laps. The average speed of the race was 84.441 mph. The time of the race was 1 hour, 46 minutes, and 35 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.510 seconds.
The Camping World Truck Series will head to South Florida to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final race of the 2016 season, the Ford EcoBoost 200. Coverage from Homestead-Miami Speedway will be on Friday, November 19th on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.
I am 19 years old from Atlanta, GA. I have been following motorsports since I was born. Motorsports has been "passed down" in my family. I am named after NASCAR Hall of Famer, William Caleb Yarborough, also known as Cale. Growing up in the southeast, racing was something that was a Sunday tradition after church. What an honor it is to share that passion with others.