NASCAR in Sonoma: Daniel Suárez makes history! (+ videos)

Sunday June 12, 2022 by Julie Bouchard

Daniel Suárez made NASCAR history today. The 30-year-old, racing the No.99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet, became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race on June 12 at Sonoma Raceway, California.

The win came on his 195th start in NASCAR’s flagship series. Suárez is a graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program. Prior to joining the Cup Series, he had been through the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series, now known as the ARCA Menards Series East, and Xfinity.

But where Suárez made his name to the general public was in the Mexican NASCAR series. The native of Monterrey, Mexico made his first stock car start there on September 6, 2009. Suárez won 10 times in this series, between 2012 and 2014. His career took off then.

Prior to Trackhouse, Suárez raced in the Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Gaunt Brothers Racing. He was the Xfinity Series Champion in 2016.

For the record, his companion is Julia Piquet, one of the daughters of the three-time Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet, and sister of Kelly Piquet, the companion of Max Verstappen. With the victory of the Red Bull driver today at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Piquet family is therefore celebrating success in Formula 1 and NASCAR. Never seen !

Daniel Suárez is also the 5th driver not born in the United States to win the NACAR Cup, after Mario Andretti (born in Italy), Canadian Earl Ross, Juan-Pablo Montoya (Colombian) and Marcos Ambrose (Australian).

On the track, this race held on the Sonoma road circuit was exciting, marked by only 5 neutralizations. 2 hours and 48 minutes were necessary for the drivers to complete the 110 laps of the event, punctuated by 6 changes of leader.

Suárez was in the lead for 47 laps and won with a margin of 3.849 seconds over Chris Buescher (Ford / Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing). Michael McDowell (Ford/Front Row Motorsports) finished third, ahead of two other Ford drivers, Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) and the winner of the last Daytona 500, Austin Cindric (Team Penske).

Championship leader Chase Elliott led 26 laps, but he received a penalty for intervention by his mechanics outside his position in the pits shortly before the end of stage 2. He started the last stage on lap 34 place and managed to move up to eighth, also being the highest ranked driver in Hendrick Motorsports.

His teammate Kyle Larson, who took pole position and won at this Sonoma circuit last year, won Stage 1 and also led 26 laps, but his No.5 Chevrolet lost the right front wheel shortly after a crash. pit stop on the last leg. He finished 15th.

William Byron (Chevrolet/Hendrick Motorsports) and Brad Keselowski (Ford//Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing) completed the Top 10. For the full ranking, click here. For the video summary, see below.

The NASCAR Cup Series will be inactive next weekend. The next race is Sunday, June 26 (5 p.m. start) at Nashville Superspeedway, Tennessee.

Note that the Camping World Truck Series was also performing in Sonoma this weekend. The event took place on Saturday and was won by Kyle Busch (own team Toyota), ahead of Zane Smith, Ty Majeski, Ross Chastain and Chandler Smith. Although injured in a leg, Carson Hocevar finished 6th. The Canadian Stewart Friesen retired following an accident 5 laps from the end.

For the complete ranking of this race, click here. For highlights, see the video below of the NASCAR Cup race.

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