By Summer Bedgood, Managing Editor
Coming off of a strong run last weekend at Auto Club Speedway, Daniel Suarez and his No. 99 Trackhouse Racing team were looking forward to this weekend’s Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the hopes of following up their fourth-place finish with another good showing.
The day would not go according to plan. Suarez would start the race in the 27th position, and would never make it any higher than 13th, which is where he was running when his day came to an end.
The 30-year-old driver was racing for position near Stewart-Haas Racing driver Chase Briscoe on lap 92, when Briscoe checked up behind Michael McDowell, got sideways, and slid down the track into Suarez’s right rear, turning Suarez’s No. 99 Chevrolet into the outside wall.
Suarez was unable to continue due to the extensive damage and would retire from the race, earning a 37th-place finish, a huge disappointment following a top-five result the week prior.
“I haven’t seen the replay yet, so I’m not sure what happened,” said Suarez. “I do know that the No. 14 (Chase Briscoe) clipped me in the right rear. The reason why, I don’t know.
“I don’t know what to say. He got loose and he clipped me. He didn’t do it intentionally, but it was unfortunate.”
For what it’s worth, while Briscoe was able to continue on in the race, his left front sustained some damage from the contact, and the day was a struggle from that point on.
At the conclusion of Stage 1, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch was very frustrated with Briscoe and gave Briscoe a few bumps to the rear and side of the car to voice his frustration.
Later, Briscoe spun on his own and got into the wall in turn four. He pulled into the garage shortly thereafter, drawing his race to a close.
He would finish 35th.
“I don’t know,” said Briscoe. “We were running really good and then the 34 stayed out that one time on tires and kind of just messed us up. We lost a lot of track position and then he got loose and I was so sideways. I came across and got the 99. I don’t know if that damaged it or what, but I would say the last 5-10 laps before I finally spun out the rear was bouncing really really bad and I think it broke something or the tire went down. I don’t know. I just went in the corner and the thing spun out. It’s just really unfortunate. I thought we were gonna be really really good. We’ve had good speed all year long, so we’ll just try to dig out of a hole next week.”
The Cup Series heads to Phoenix Raceway next week for the fourth race of the 2022 season. Suarez has 10 starts in the Cup Series in Phoenix compared to Briscoe’s two. Briscoe has yet to finish inside the top 20 in Phoenix while Suarez has two top 10s.
Both drivers will take the green flag along with the rest of the field on Sunday, March 13th at 3:30PM ET with coverage on FOX and MRN.
Photo Credit: Rachel Schuoler