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Kickin The Tires

Daniel Suarez has Daytona dreams crushed in qualifying race

Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin' the Tires

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daniel Suarez came to Daytona International Speedway with a hope and prayer of making the 2020 Daytona 500 but his efforts were dashed when he and Ryan Blaney got into him during the first qualifying Duel Race, destroying his car and leaving him the off man out.

“Ahhhh, very frustrated honestly,” a disappointed Suarez said, as he walked away from the infield care center and spoke with a group of media gathered to speak with him. “All I want to do is just go home.”

At the end of 2019, Suarez learned he would lose his ride at Stewart-Haas Racing and went looking for a place to race this season. A deal came together very late with Gaunt Brothers Racing but he would have no points to fall back on as a buffer to make the season-opener.

When asked what happened on the track, Suarez said there were secret signals to come to pit road between the No. 2 of Brad Keselowski and the No. 12 Ryan Blaney and he got caught in the middle.

“I don’t know if the 2 was going to pit or if everyone else was going to pit, I don’t know what the deal was but the 2 got his hand out the window next to the 4 (Kevin Harvick) and when I saw that he started slowing down and I moved to the right to try and avoid him and the 12 just didn’t give me enough room,” Suarez said. “All those last calls, secret calls, you know, they just don’t work.

“A lot of frustration, a broken heart because I have been working my ass off to make this happen and it doesn’t work.”

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