Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP) – Daniel Suarez He needed to run his way to the Daytona 500
A Toyota pair of Suarez No. 1 sandwiched through Ford during the first of two picks on Thursday night. It hit Suarez Ryan Blaney And at Daytona International Speedway, he slipped his race car through the wet infield grass and ended the chance to make “The Great American Race.”
“This is extremely frustrating, really,” said Suarez, struggling with tears. “All I want to do is go home. Lots of frustration, unsettled because I’m working my ass off to try it and it doesn’t work. “
The only full-time Mexican driver of any NASCAR national series, Suarez lost his job with the top Cup Series teams in the last two years – first in 2018 with Joe Gibbs Racing and later last year with Stewart-Hush Racing. Former champion of the Xfinity Series, Gant Brothers signed a contract late last month to drive the car.
The new team does not have a NASCAR charter, which guarantees a spot of 36 out of 40 per week, and knowing Suarez arrived in Daytona, he had to race in the Su Tu opener. Making the challenge even more terrifying, the team was an engineer and a mechanical short and had no simulator time.
“We did our best to give it time,” Suarez said.
Getting a certificate in Daytona is key, where more cars than usual enter the race in hopes of getting the largest purse piece of the series. Suarez said Gant was in the market to buy one, but no one was in the market.
“There’s not one for sale that I know of. We’ve been to Walmart seven times and haven’t found anything, “he joked.” No, there’s nothing to sell. We’ve actually tried, but nothing to sell. It’s a situation, you know. It works like this. Finally, we hope we get the right one. Find out “”
Nevertheless, Suarez liked his chances of creating a competition he just needed to beat Reed Sorenson And Chad Finch To land an interesting spot in the 5-mile qualifier. Sorenson Barth finished earning.
Suarez and his spotter blamed the accident for lack of clear communication between Team Penske’s teammate Blake and and Brad Keselowski. Suarez was following Keselowski, holding his hand toward the window that he was beating signal Suarez said that he had come to the right to pass Keselowski, but Blaney “didn’t give me enough room.”
“These last calls, secret calls, whatever they want to call, they are just … it doesn’t work,” he said.
Blaine blamed it for the destruction, which caused enough damage to his car that the team would switch to a backup before .500.
“We’ve been lucky,” Blaney said. “We shouldn’t have been in the first place. It was just an error for me and a slight lack of communication that didn’t end well. “