Saturday’s NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at Bowman Gray Stadium was headlined by Suarez’s 2nd place finish, while three Rev Racing drivers ultimately took the checkered flag within the top-10 in a race that was decided on the final lap.
Jay Beasley was the only driver to qualified in the top-10. Ryan Gifford qualified 14th and Daniel Suarez qualified last after hitting the wall in turn one of his qualifying efforts. The damage to the #6 Toyota Racing Development Toyota was extensive, but repairable, leaving the question of how it would perform during the actual race.
Bowman has historically been a track that is difficult to navigate. The flat and narrow quarter-mile track is designed for bumping, banging, and sliding. The only way to steer clear of other drivers is to stay is to distance oneself from the pack. However, with the Rev Racing drivers scattered throughout, each car was in the thick of the action.
After the drivers took the green flag, an immediate pile up in turn three involving Rev Racing drivers Bell and Gifford, forced a yellow flag. There was a grand total of 12 yellow and one red flag over the course of the hour-long competition.
While the entire race was marred with caution flags, it was the final flag on lap 143 that set the stage for a green-white-checkered restart. Under the yellow, Suarez, Gifford, and Beasley were positioned 2nd, 6th, and 7th respectively. Once the green flag was issued on lap 150, Suarez was door-to-door with Rhodes in a battle for first. Unfortunately, Rhodes, who had the inside position, was able to clear Suarez just before taking the checkered.
Though Rhodes and Suarez had a clear path the finish line, the remaining drivers were involved in a pile up in turn four. After extensive contact, Gifford and Beasley narrowly escaped and sprinted to 7th and 9th place finishes. Mackena Bell took the checkered flag in 13th while Sergio Peña was unable to finish due to mechanical issues.
In reference to his come-from-behind 2nd place finish, Suarez admitted that Saturday’s efforts were a combination of teamwork and luck. “I want to thank everyone on the Rev Racing team who helped get my car back to where I could compete. They did an awesome job. The car for the race was not exactly the same as it was in the morning because we hit the wall, but it was fast. And with some luck we were able to drive all the way back to the front and now we head home with a smile on our faces and a 2nd place finish.”
With his 2nd place finish, Suarez has jumped Cameron Hayley and has reclaimed 3rd place in the point standings.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action on Friday, June 13 with the Pensacola 150 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
Rev Racing PR