Daniel Suarez fastest in Saturday's first practice session

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Daniel Suarez fastest in Saturday's first practice session
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Apr 7, 2018, 4:02 PM

While the weather cooled off at Texas Motor Speedway, Daniel Suarez heated up on Saturday.

Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry STANLEY Children's Miracle Network Hospitals National Champions
Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry STANLEY Children's Miracle Network Hospitals National Champions
Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry STANLEY Children's Miracle Network Hospitals National Champions
Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry STANLEY Children's Miracle Network Hospitals National Champions

Under temperatures in the mid-30s, Suarez went out very late in Saturday’s first practice session and posted an average lap speed of 198.998 mph – the fastest lap recorded so far this weekend.

Kurt Busch’s pole-winning lap during Friday’s abbreviated qualifying session was 197.368 mph.

Suarez, who is set to start 14th on Sunday, said his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team has faced several challenges this season.

“We have had good speed, we just, we’ve been very inconsistent. We’ve been very – struggling a little bit sometimes, not always, but sometimes transferring that speed from practice to the race or from qualifying to practice,” Suarez said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.

“The speed is there, we just have to be able to transfer that speed to the weekend and that’s something that we have to keep working on and try to keep getting better at. I’m sure we are going to get it.”

In two Cup series starts at Texas, Suarez finished 19th and 14th last season.

Suarez’s JGR teammate, Denny Hamlin, was second-fastest. Rookie William Byron was third, Jimmie Johnson fourth and Kevin Harvick completed the top five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Blaney.

With less than 13½ minutes left in the session, Stenhouse came off Turn 4 and slammed into the outside wall, doing extensive damage to his No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford. He had just recorded the ninth-fastest speed in the session.

It was the second consecutive race Stenhouse had wrecked his primary car in a practice session. He had the same happen two weeks ago at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

The team immediately moved to bring out Stenhouse’s No. 17 backup car, which will require him to start Sunday’s O’Reilly 500 from the rear of the field. He was set to start 26th.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 21 27.136     198.998
2 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 5 27.163 0.027 0.027 198.800
3 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 26 27.171 0.035 0.008 198.741
4 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 12 27.185 0.049 0.014 198.639
5 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 8 27.248 0.112 0.063 198.180
6 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 22 27.250 0.114 0.002 198.165
7 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 26 27.266 0.130 0.016 198.049
8 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 23 27.269 0.133 0.003 198.027
9 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 15 27.288 0.152 0.019 197.889
10 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 18 27.298 0.162 0.010 197.817
11 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 15 27.344 0.208 0.046 197.484
12 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 23 27.354 0.218 0.010 197.412
13 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 22 27.379 0.243 0.025 197.231
14 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 13 27.387 0.251 0.008 197.174
15 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 22 27.399 0.263 0.012 197.087
16 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 13 27.411 0.275 0.012 197.001
17 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 36 27.414 0.278 0.003 196.980
18 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 10 27.414 0.278 0.000 196.980
19 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 28 27.426 0.290 0.012 196.893
20 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 23 27.442 0.306 0.016 196.779
21 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 19 27.469 0.333 0.027 196.585
22 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 6 27.479 0.343 0.010 196.514
23 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 24 27.497 0.361 0.018 196.385
24 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 31 27.506 0.370 0.009 196.321
25 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 18 27.544 0.408 0.038 196.050
26 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 23 27.548 0.412 0.004 196.021
27 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 25 27.590 0.454 0.042 195.723
28 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 24 27.634 0.498 0.044 195.411
29 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 15 27.703 0.567 0.069 194.925
30 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 34 28.043 0.907 0.340 192.561
31 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 28 28.176 1.040 0.133 191.652
32 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 19 28.361 1.225 0.185 190.402
33 51 united_states Harrison Rhodes  Chevrolet 16 28.550 1.414 0.189 189.142
34 00 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 17 28.702 1.566 0.152 188.140

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Texas
Location Texas Motor Speedway
Drivers Daniel Suarez
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Jim Utter
Article type Practice report