Suarez Rolls To Columbus Win

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Daniel Suárez is ready to declare Columbus Motor Speedway as his home track.

The 21-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico doesn’t have an official home track in the United States, but the .333-mile in Ohio certainly is an adopted one as Suárez picked up his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory in the NAPA 150 on Saturday night. His previous two starts at the track resulted in fifth-place finishes.

The victory was the second straight NASCAR touring series win for Suárez, who also won the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series event on June 30 in his last outing that came in his hometown.

“It’s amazing. I can’t explain how I feel,” said the victorious Suárez, who led a race-high 88 laps. “I’ve worked so hard for this moment.”

It’s the second first time win for Suárez in as many seasons. On May 12, 2012, he picked up his first NASCAR Toyota Series triumph in Mexico City.

“The whole team has worked really hard for this. We’ll work now to keep this momentum going,” the driver of the No. 6 Toyota Racing Development Toyota added.

1 Daniel Suárez
2 Cale Conley
3 Dylan Kwasniewski
4 Ryan Gifford
5 Brandon Gdovic

Suárez, making his 24th start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, became the fifth different Rev Racing driver to reach Victory Lane since the organization began fielding cars for NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity in 2010. He also became the first Mexican-born driver to win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East since Rogelio Lopez at Nashville in 2007.

Defending race winner Cale Conley finished second to log his third consecutive top-five finish in the series after a stretch of nine straight finishes outside the top 10.

“Daniel was really good on the long runs. Who would’ve thought Columbus would be a long-run race, but it was,” Conley said.

Also at 21 years of age, the Vienna, W.Va., driver is pleased with his team’s recent improved performance.

“This is a totally new team. We started from zero this year,” he stated. “From where we were at earlier in the year, this feels like a win.”

Points leader and 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co. winner Dylan Kwasniewski finished third. He surrendered the lead to Suárez after the race’s first 64 laps while battling a tight race car.

Suárez’s teammate Ryan Gifford was fourth and Brandon Gdovic rounded out the top five. Eddie MacDonald finished sixth, followed by Brett Moffitt, Kenzie Ruston, Ben Kennedy and Bryan Ortiz.

In the point standings, Kwasniewski stretched out his lead over Moffitt to 23 points while Kennedy, Gifford and Gdovic complete the top five in the season-long battle for the 2013 title.

The NAPA 150 will air on SPEED on Thursday, July 25 at 3 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be back on track Friday, Aug. 2 at Iowa Speedway in the second of two combination races on the season with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.