By NASCAR Wire Service
Don’t expect Daniel Suárez to concede his spot atop the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings any time soon.
Through his first five races, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver boasts a higher average finish (4.8) than the last five NXS driver champions through the first five contests in their respective championship-winning seasons: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 6.2 (2012); Chris Buescher, 7.8 (2015); Stenhouse, 8.2 (2011); Chase Elliott, 8.8 (2014) and Austin Dillon, 9.8 (2013). In addition, Suárez’s 112.8 driver rating was only outpaced by Stenhouse in his 2012 title-winning season.
Suárez will attempt to continue his sizzling start in Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1). The NASCAR Next and Drive for Diversity (operated by Rev Racing) alumnus made his only two starts at Texas in his rookie season last year. He improved on his 18th-place showing in the spring to finish sixth in the fall.
“I’m excited about going to Texas and getting back in my Toyota Camry this week,” Suárez said. “We were so close to the win in Fontana (finishing fourth) and all I could think about over the break was getting back on the track with my guys. I enjoy racing at Texas (Motor Speedway) and I think our mile-and-half program at JGR is really strong.”
Suárez, who owns three top fives and a top 10 in all five races, hopes to hold off standings second-place Elliott Sadler (-10 points) and third-place Justin Allgaier (-19).
“Scott and the guys worked hard over the break to get our Camry ready to go,” Suárez said. “We’ve had some good meetings this week and I think we have a solid plan in place for Friday night. I’m excited to hit the track and continuing to build on the momentum from the start of the year.”
Image: Chris Trotman/Getty Images