Daniel Suarez is one of those drivers outside of the bubble looking for a win to make the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. With only seven races remaining, he is slowly running out of time.
Going into Loudon, Suarez is 108 points behind with no Playoff points. It is looking more impossible by the week for him to make it in on points. Another tough part about getting in on points is the number of drivers that he has to leap over including Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Paul Menard, and Ryan Newman.
Suarez’s sophomore season hasn’t been exactly how he has wanted it to be. With an average finish of 19.1, he is on track to have a worse season than last year. It is easy to say that the sophomore slump is hitting. Improving the season for Suárez would require him to capture more top 10s and strive for a better qualifying position. Loudon could be his chance to shine and surprise many people.
The driver from Monterrey, Mexico has only run two Cup races at Loudon and qualified 14th and 25th but his development in the races has been promising. With finishes of sixth and eighth last year, he has shown that he has gotten comfortable with the track during the race. A good starting position will help him keep the car up front and fight for a much-needed win.
The competition is arguably tougher this year that it was last year. Being able to get by the “Big 3” (Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch) would be a major statement for the sophomore driver.
Going into Loudon, Suarez is probably not even in the talk of being a favorite to take the checkered flag. He is truly the dark horse going into the race weekend but this could be the moment when Suárez becomes a legitimate contender for the playoffs.
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