It’s a challenging high-banked, concrete mile oval known as the “Monster Mile,” but Dover (Del.) International Speedway, site of this weekend’s third and final NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader race weekend, is where Daniel Suárez has done best in his three previous seasons in NASCAR’s premier series.
The 28-year-old native of Monterrey, Mexico heads to the Delmarva Peninsula in his No. 96 CommScope Toyota Camry with the single-car Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) team he joined this season for twin 311-mile races Saturday and Sunday looking to capitalize on his past performances there.
His average Cup Series start in six previous Dover outings is 10.5 and his average finish is 8.7, the latter number bettered only by his average finish of 8.0 on the road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, where he has an average start of 14.7. All six of his previous Dover Cup Series appearances resulted in top-15 finishes with a best of third in the May 2018 race in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. And all but one of his Dover Cup Series starts came from 15th or better on the grid with a best of third in the May 2017 race in his Gibbs Toyota. He’s led 22 laps at Dover, all but one of which came in the May 2019 race in his Stewart-Haas Racing entry, when he finished 14th.
Suárez’s record at Dover is even better in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he took Rookie of the Year honors in 2015 and the overall championship in 2016, both of which are firsts for a Mexican driver in a NASCAR national touring series. His dominating victory in the October 2016 Xfinity Series race at Dover, in which he led a race-high 122 laps and crossed the finish line 5.625 seconds ahead of runner-up Ty Dillon, springboarded him to the series championship, which he sealed with another dominating victory five weeks later in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Five of Suárez’s six Xfinity Series appearances at Dover resulted in top-10 finishes after starting in the top-five in five of those races.
Add his pair of runner-up finishes at Dover in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in 2015 and 2016 and his sixth-place finish there in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in 2013 and it should come as no surprise Suárez and his CommScope Toyota teammates are looking forward to not one, but two chances to score their best results of their first season together come Saturday and Sunday.