Daniel Suarez advances in XFINITY Chase with win at Dover
The Joe Gibbs Racing train continues to roll, as Daniel Suarez scored a dominating victory Sunday’s rain-delayed Drive Sober 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Dover International Speedway.
JGR’s Erik Jones started from the pole at the Monster Mile and his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, but Suarez took the lead on Lap 5 of the 200-lap event and dominated from there to score his second win of the season.
Suarez lost the lead to Justin Allgaier at the three-quarter mark, but after the track went green, Suarez retook the lead on Lap 155 and from there, drove to an easy triumph, leading 122 of 200 laps.
“We have had super strong cars in the past, but sometimes it’s not just to put a strong car together, you have to put a full race together,” said Suarez. “Today’s race it just worked out very well.”
Ty Dillon started at the back of the grid, but made a great rally to finish second in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, with Allgaier third in his JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Ryan Blaney was the first Ford driver, finishing fourth in a Team Penske Mustang ahead of Allgaier’s teammate Alex Bowman.
As a team, JGR has now won 15 of 28 XFINITY races this season.
The Dover race was the second in the inaugural XFINITY Chase, which features a field of 12 drivers vying for the series championship. With the victory, Suarez is guaranteed to advance into the Chase Round of 8.
And the Mexican-born driver said he’s feeling good heading into the final race of the first round next week in Charlotte.
“That’s something really good and it just gives us more confidence and we are going to move to the next one at Charlotte with a little more -- we know we’re really strong in Charlotte so now we can go out there and have a little fun,” said Suarez. “We always have fun, but try to enjoy the race a little bit more on the relaxed side and try to get a win.”
Elliott Sadler, who finished seventh at Dover, has also locked himself into the next round with a victory last week at Kentucky Speedway.
The race was scheduled for Saturday, but got rained out, setting up the first NASCAR XFINITY-Sprint Cup same-day doubleheader since April 2010 at Talladega Superspeedway.