Daniel Suárez had never watched a race as a fan, much less competed, on dirt until a few days before the first ever dirt race on the half-mile high banks of Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last year.
It was the NASCAR Cup Series’ first dirt race in years and the Monterrey, Mexico native had no idea what to expect.
His Trackhouse Racing crew visited Smoky Mountain Speedway in Marysville, Tenn. a few days before the Bristol race for the 30-year-old to drive a street-stock on the .4-mile dirt track.
With that vast experience, he arrived at Bristol to run in both the Truck Series and the NASCAR Cup Series dirt race. He finished 17th in the truck race, but put on a show when he climbed into his Cup car. Driving from his 18th starting spot, Suárez finished fourth in Stage 1 and second in Stage 2. Both the best stage finishes at the time for his first-year Trackhouse team.
He led 58 laps and finished fourth as he battled for victory against drivers who grew up racing on dirt. It was an amazing accomplishment for someone with next to no dirt racing experience.
He would love to repeat that performance Sunday night when he drives the No. 99 Tootsie’s Chevrolet on the Bristol dirt.
Fox will televise Sunday’s race at 7 p.m. EDT
Trackhouse Racing PR