After a pit road mistake, Daniel Suárez comes back with a last lap pass to win the Toyota 120 at Phoenix International Raceway.
After starting from the outside pole position, Suárez wasted no time in racing around pole sitter Rubén Pardo and holding the lead until his stop for fuel on lap 46. That’s when Suárez was speeding on pit road, with a resulting pass-through penalty placing him at the end of the field.
One-by-one, Suárez made his way through the field and was in the top-three by the last ten laps of the race. In those laps, Suárez rallied back and forth with Antonío Peréz with Peréz maintaining the edge, until the last lap. Suárez cut across the dogleg on the backstretch to gain his advantage and score his sixth career Toyota Series victory.
Amazingly the 22-year-old driver now has four consecutive NASCAR touring series wins beginning with Suárez’s victory in the 2013 season finale in Mexico City last November. Then in K&N Pro Series East 2014 season opening races in Florida, earlier in February, he added a pair of wins.
Defending his title, champion Rodrigo Peralta was able to pass Peréz during the last lap for a runner-up finish. Luis Felipe Montaño and Pardo finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The rest of the top-ten were José Luis RamÍrez, Rubén Garcia Jr, Rafael Martinez, Freddy Tame Jr and Mario Dominguez.
A member of NASCAR’s Next program spotlighting young talent in the sport, Suárez is also a member of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, driving full-time for Rev Racing in K&N Pro Series East.
Suárez becomes the first driver to lead in two NASCAR series in point standings at the same time, since Kyle Busch led the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series’ early in the 2009 season. At the touring series level, it hasn’t been done since recent NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik won both the K&N Pro Series East and Whelen Modified Tour championships in 1998.
The Mexico Toyota Series opens their 2014 season in Mexico on April 5 at Autódromo Hermanos RodrÍguez in Mexico City