Daniel Suarez capitalizes on late woes for teammate, wins first Truck Series race
After William Byron’s hope of a race win and a championship went up in his own engine smoke, Daniel Suarez took advantage of his teammate’s woes to win his first Camping World Truck Series race.
Suarez took the lead when Byron’s engine gave up with about 12 laps to go in the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Byron had led a race-high 112 laps from the pole before his engine gave out, allowing Suarez to add to his two Xfinity Series wins this season.
“I guess it was our time to have a little bit of luck,” Suarez told Fox Sports 1. “This team, (Kyle Busch Motorsports), they work really hard. What a (great) way to clinch the Toyota manufacturer’s championship than with this victory.”
Filling out the top five was Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Cameron Hayley and Timothy Peters.
It’s Suarez’s first win in 26 Truck Series starts after having four runner-up finishes. He started second and led 34 laps, the fourth most in his career. Suarez likely would have had to settle for another second-place finish if not for Byron’s engine problem.
“I didn’t have any idea about the 9,” Suarez said of Byron. “I actually feel very bad for Byron, He definitely had the best truck out there. He did an amazing job. He was running a perfect race. Things like that happen in racing I guess.”
Byron’s DNF keeps him out of the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway after the rookie won a season-high six races.
Racing for the title in the inaugural Chase season will be Crafton, a two-time champion, Sauter, Peters and rookie Christopher Bell.
HOW DANIEL SUAREZ WON: He took the lead when teammate William Byron lost an engine with 12 to go and led the rest of the way.
WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Cameron Hayley finished fourth for his sixth top 10 of the season ... John Hunter Nemechek was sixth for his 11th top 10, but just his third in the last seven races ... Matt Tifft finished eighth for his third top 10 of the season.
WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Spencer Gallagher lost control of his No. 23 truck and wrecked in Turn 1 on Lap 11. He finished last … Austin Cindric was involved in three cautions. He spun Myatt Snider while trying to pass him on the inside in the first turn of Lap 1. On the restart from the Gallagher caution, Cindric and Noah Gragson made contact and spun to bring out the third caution. Then on Lap 108, Cindric spun on his own to bring out the eighth caution. Cindric finished 15th … On Lap 78, Kaz Grala and Rico Abreu made contact entering Turn 1, causing Abreu to bounce off the inside wall and Grala to slide up into the outside wall. Abreu finished 11th, Grala in 28th.
NOTABLE: In their first Truck Series starts, Noah Gragson finished 16th and Myatt Sider finished 17th.
NEXT: Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway at 8 p.m. ET on Nov. 18 on Fox Sports 1.