After just missing out on a top-ten last weekend, Suarez came back even better at the Bristol Dirt Track.
The No. 99 team led 58 laps and nearly won the second stage. Ultimately, they finished fourth in Suarez’s first top-five finish since Texas, 2019. What made Suarez’s run even more impressive was his lack of experience on dirt.
“I want to be very honest with you, I love racing at Bristol. Is one of my favorite racetracks. When they announced we’re going to be coming here with dirt in one of the races, I wasn’t too sure about it because I never been on dirt in my life. In Mexico, we don’t have ovals in dirt, at least as I know,” Suarez admitted.
“Honestly, I am just very, very proud of my team that they brought a very fast car and I was able to learn as I went. It was a challenge. Last probably five days ago was my first time ever on a dirt car. It was a lot of fun. I really enjoy a lot. I enjoy a lot, as well, the entire weekend. Overall I felt that we’re very close. That always bring a smile to my face. But it wasn’t close enough. So we have to keep working. Now I’m excited actually that we’re going to come back next year with another shot to race and compete for the win in Bristol on dirt.”
Suarez sits 20th in the championship standings after Sunday’s race as NASCAR now heads into the Easter break. The Monterrey, Mexico native believes the team will only get stronger after turning a lot of heads over the past two races.
“It’s the second week in a row that we’ve been running strong,” he said. “I don’t see this as, okay, we run good because we’re on dirt. I feel like everyone at Trackhouse Racing has done an incredible job to work hard on these cars, get them better. Really a lot of support from RCR, engines and chassis and everything. I feel like we still a long ways to go from where we want to be, but we’re heading the right direction.
“Hopefully we can compete in the top 10, top 5 like we’ve been doing the last couple weeks on a weekly basis. Eventually we’re going to get a trophy.”
Suarez explained that the track work done at the conclusion of Stage 2 adversely affected his race car as he fell to the backend of the top-five, which is why he was no longer able to challenge for the race lead in the closing laps.
“Unfortunately I was one of those that lost the balance a little bit,” he explained. “For some reason, my rear grip wasn’t the same. I felt that my car was capable to challenge for the race lead before that.”
With Travis Mack on the pit box and another good track ahead for Suarez at Martinsville, there’s no reason not to keep an eye on this impressive new race team. With performances like this, they could even find their way into the playoffs in their debut season.
“I definitely believe that this team is very good and we just keep getting better and better,” asserted Suarez. “I’m just very excited and happy to be back racing with these guys.”