Suárez Finishes 12th in All-Star Open

Race Winner: Matt DiBenedetto of Wood Brothers Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-35):

Started 18th, finished 8th.

● From his 18th starting position, Suárez was up to 13th when the caution flew for a two-car incident on lap 17.

● The race went back to green on lap 29 with Suárez restarting seventh, and he dropped a position before the end of the stage.

● Suárez and the team discussed their options and decided it would be best to pit as overall grip was a huge problem. He took four tires with air pressure adjustments.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 36-70):

Started 14th, finished 12th.

Suárez restarted in the outside lane and held his position before avoiding a two-car incident ahead of him a lap into the run, which moved him up to 12th during the caution before restarting 10th on lap 42.

He dropped two positions over the next 28 laps and crossed the line 12th at the break.

● Suárez and the team opted to stay on track despite continued grip issues.


Final Stage Recap (Laps 71-85):

Started 7th, finished 12th.

The stage went green from start to finish and Suárez lost ground after choosing the alternative lane for the restart and took the checkered flag 12th.


Daniel Suárez, driver of the No. 96 It’s Good To Be Genuine Parts & Service Toyota for Gaunt Brothers Racing:

“We had our best finish of the season so far when we were here in May, so I was hoping we were going to be a little more competitive in this one. It was a struggle to find grip the whole race tonight and it just wasn’t there. Obviously, there was no time to be able to make our It’s Good To Be Genuine Toyota much better in such a short race. It was a learning experience, like it is every time we race. We’ll just keep working hard and take our next steps at Texas on Sunday.”


Race Notes:

● The All-Star Open was the undercard event to the NASCAR All-Star Race, where non-qualified drivers attempted to race their way into the All-Star Race by winning any one of the Open’s three stages or by winning the fan vote.

● Aric Almirola, William Byron and Matt DiBenedetto advanced to the All-Star Race with their stage wins in the Open, joining Clint Bowyer, who advanced via the fan vote.

● There were four caution periods for a total of 18 laps.

● Sixteen of the 21 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.


Next Up:

Suárez and the Gaunt Brothers Racing team return to points-paying racing Sunday, July 19, when the NASCAR Cup Series visits Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. The race gets underway at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.