Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender seeks $100,000 in opener RELATED: Enter Dash 4 Cash sweepstakes Last weekend didn't start off too well for Daniel Suarez . He qualified 19th for the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , his lowest starting position since February when he began the Atlanta race 21st. It ended pretty well though. Suarez finished sixth, clinching a spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series' Dash 4 Cash by placing in the top four among drivers registered for XFINITY Series points. As a Dash 4 Cash participant, Suarez can win an extra $100,000 in Saturday's Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket at Dover International Speedway (2:30 p.m. on FOX). All he has to do is place ahead of the other three contestants: Ty Dillon , Regan Smith and Darrell Wallace Jr . "It's great, last year I did not get this opportunity," Suarez said after qualifying for Dash 4 Cash at Charlotte. "Thank you to everyone in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for putting this all together. I'm looking forward to next week." Suarez has only started at Dover twice, both times in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He placed sixth in 2013 and finished 22nd last year following a wreck with 17 laps left. This weekend, he will get seat time in Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 (5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1), which will help him prepare for the XFINITY Series event. "I always feel a bit more confident in tracks where I've competed at before in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East," Suarez said about Dover. "I know it's a very fast track, interesting and a lot of fun. It will also be fun to run two races in the same weekend again. I love being behind the wheel, so anytime I can do more of that is great for me." Suarez has the opportunity to win $1 million through the Dash 4 Cash program. He can win $100,000 in each race at Dover, Indianapolis, Bristol and Darlington by being the highest finisher among Dash 4 Cash participants. If Suarez wins the first three Dash 4 Cash awards and then wins outright at Darlington, XFINITY will award him an additional $600,000 bonus, bringing the total payout to $1 million. "We had a good run at Charlotte and qualified for the 'Dash 4 Cash' program," Suarez said. "It's a fun incentive, but it won't change the way we prepare or approach the race this weekend." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Daniel Suarez recaps his second-place finish at Dover International Speedway in the Lucas Oil 200.
Four drivers and fans have chances to win $100,000 MORE: How Dash 4 Cash works; enter now! CONCORD, N.C. -- Regan Smith said he didn't realize until Friday that Saturday's Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the qualifier for the NASCAR XFINITY Series' Dash 4 Cash Sweepstakes. But on Saturday in the driver's meeting he tapped Jason Burdett, crew chief of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, on the shoulder and said, "Hey, you know this is the Dash 4 Cash race and we need to be good today." The No. 7 remained steady and in the top 10 for the majority of the race, but what made Saturday good was a late pit stop that propelled Smith to a fourth-place finish, his best at Charlotte. Smith led a group of Dash 4 Cash qualifiers that included Darrell Wallace Jr . (fifth place), Daniel Suarez (sixth) and Ty Dillon (seventh) in a race won by Austin Dillon . The best finisher among the four in next week's Buckle Up presented by Click it or Ticket 200 at Dover International Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX) will take home $100,000 and advance to the next round of the Dash 4 Cash. For Wallace, the fifth-place finish at Charlotte was a career best in his young XFINITY Series career and came on the heels of a sixth-place showing at Iowa. Wallace also finished sixth at Texas earlier this season, and the driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford said he's building some momentum. "This is a confidence booster for all of my guys," Wallace said. "We just have to clean up ourselves on pit road. That's been a struggle for us these last couple races, but we've been able to manage a couple spots on restarts and come away with our first top-five in the series. ... This is where we need to be. We're setting up ship for late in the season." As for the immediate future, Wallace said he needed to learn how to translate qualifying success at Dover International Speedway into a race win. In 2012, Wallace won the pole in the fall XFINITY race at Dover only to finish 12th. He also won a pole there in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the spring of 2013 but finished 10th. "Dover has been a very successful track for me," Wallace said. "It would be nice if (the Dash 4 Cash) paid for the pole there because I'm pretty good at qualifying there. I haven't got the finishes I wanted, but I'm excited to be in the XFINITY Series and part of the Dash 4 Cash Series, so I'm glad to be one of the four." Wallace and fellow rookie Suarez will mix it up with Smith and Dillon, who are veterans of the Dash 4 Cash battles -- with Dillon winning a Dash 4 Cash race last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway . In addition to Dover and Indianapolis, the Dash 4 Cash will take place at Bristol Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway this year. Suarez , who qualified 19th for Saturday's race in Charlotte, charged through the field early and maintained a top-10 position for the second half of the race. Suarez's sixth-place finish in his first race at CMS was his fourth top 10 of the season. "We had a hard time in qualifying -- maybe one of my worst qualifying runs of the year at 19th," Suarez said. "All these guys, they don't know how to give up and that's something that is really good, and I'm learning to be just like that as well." And like Smith, Suarez was pleasantly surprised that Saturday marked the beginning of the Dash 4 Cash. "That's cool and something new actually," Suarez said. "I saw the Dash 4 Cash, and I don't know exactly how it works or anything, but I'm really proud to be part of this and something new for me." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
XFINITY Series rookie visits Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Joliet Photo credit: Don McClelland As a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Daniel Suarez says he's been doing his homework as best he can, oftentimes having to learn new and unfamiliar race tracks on the fly. Monday morning, on the heels of a strong race but disappointing finish the previous day at Iowa Speedway , Suarez did his own schooling one state over, visiting Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Joliet, Illinois, to talk about the importance of technology and mathematics. The assembly also came with a surprise perk -- 1,000 race tickets, enough to send the whole school's enrollment plus family members to the series' race June 20 at nearby Chicagoland Speedway (9:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "It was pretty fun and makes me think a lot because the last group of kids we had, it was from 10 to 11 years old and it made me think that when I was that age, I was about to start in racing," said Suarez , who ranks 10th in the XFINITY standings. "It was really cool. All those kids were super-excited about all of us. Now they have tickets to go, without a question. I'm excited about that and looking forward to seeing all these kids again next month." Suarez's own role as a student has meant plenty of adjustment in his first full XFINITY season driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota, visiting new circuits and adapting to the pace of longer races than the NASCAR K&N Pro Series that sparked his development. Yet when he returns to the Land of Lincoln, it will mark the 23-year-old driver's second race on the 1.5-mile track, a facility he lauded for its multiple grooves and high-speed layout. Suarez finished 15th last fall in a one-off event for RAB Racing at Chicagoland in just his second career XFINITY start, but it's an experience he hopes to build upon when the series returns for Father's Day weekend. "For sure, it's different because at least you know what to expect," said Suarez , who is also running a part-time schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season. "In those races where I've never been before in the past, you're learning about everything -- about the racing line, everything. I know that when I do my homework to watch video and get information about the race, everything is still difficult. "It's still a process. But for all these races where I've been in the past, I feel like my confidence and my knowledge about the race track is a little better." His learning process thus far has been on an accelerated upturn, especially on the series' short tracks, where he's logged his best finishes of the season -- second at Bristol and sixth at Richmond. That streak ended Sunday at Iowa Speedway , where he led a career-high 48 laps early on before sliding back somewhat in the late going. His chances for a top-five finish, though, slipped away when his car sputtered out of fuel with just two laps left in regulation. "It was just a difficult day in many ways," Suarez said. "Looks like we had a pretty strong car in the beginning of the race, but the race track changed a lot and the line changed a lot as well. We improved the car some, never quite like at the beginning, and then we ran out of luck and ran out fuel. That pretty much ended our day, but at the end of the day, I felt like we had a top-five car. I feel like we ran most of the day in the top 10, top five, and that's a good thing, but definitely we have to keep working, keep learning about our mistakes and be better for next week." Next week comes quick for Suarez and the rest of the XFINITY regulars with Saturday's Hisense 300 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the backyard of NASCAR's business hub. His studies for this weekend haven't started just yet, but it's by no means due to procrastination. "Not yet, actually. We are here today in Chicago and just finished yesterday in Iowa, so my homework is going to start tomorrow," Suarez said. "But I feel good about Charlotte. I've never been on the race track in a race, but I had a test in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the beginning of the year, so I know a little bit about the track. It's straightforward, it's fast, it's very narrow, but I feel like we're going to have a pretty good car one more time and we're going to try to be competitive." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Buescher seals 1-2 Roush sweep in Dover XFINITY qualifying RELATED: Qualifying results Darrell Wallace Jr . sped to the Coors Light Pole Award in Saturday qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Dover International Speedway . Wallace drove the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford to a fast lap of 153.991 mph, securing the top starting spot for Saturday's Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM). The pole position was Wallace's first of the season and second of his XFINITY career -- both coming at the Monster Mile. Series points leader Chris Buescher , Wallace's Roush Fenway teammate, will share the front row after posting the second-fastest lap, 153.886 mph in the No. 60 Ford. Buescher, who also notched the fastest lap in the opening 20-minute round of qualifying, holds a four-point lead in the XFINITY standings over Ty Dillon heading into the 12th of 33 races this season. Sprint Cup Series regular Matt Kenseth was third-fastest at 153.715 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. Rookie Daniel Suarez was fourth-best in another Gibbs entry while Richard Childress Racing 's Brian Scott completed the top five in qualifying on the 1-mile concrete track. Defending series champion Chase Elliott posted the 14th-fastest lap in Round 2, just missing out on the 12-driver cutoff for the final qualifying round. "Not going fast enough, just as simple as that," Elliott told FOX Sports 1 after his qualifying pass. With 40 cars vying for 40 starting spots, no drivers failed to qualify. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where every driver will pit Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET, FOX RELATED: Starting lineup Darrell Wallace Jr . won the Coors Light Pole Award and led a front-row sweep for Roush Fenway Racing with points leader Chris Buescher in XFINITY Series qualifying for the Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket at Dover International Speedway (Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM). Wallace will pit his No. 6 Ford Mustang in the second stall, which is the first one at the exit of pit road, heading into Turn 1. Buescher chose the 16th stall with an opening behind where he will pit his No. 60 ride. Joe Gibbs Racing nabbed the second row and three of the next four spots with Matt Kenseth and Daniel Suarez qualifying third and fourth respectively and Erik Jones taking the sixth spot. Kenseth's No. 20 Toyota Camry will pit in the 36th pit stall. Suarez will take his No. 18 to the 10th stall with an opening in front of him while No. 54, Jones , will pit in the seventh stall. The fastest Chevrolet Camaro in the field, Brian Scott 's Richard Childress Racing No. 2, was fifth in qualifying and will pit in the fourth stall. The fourth row will be made up of Chevys as well with Kasey Kahne pitting his No. 88 JR Motorsports ride in the 17th stall with an opening in front of him. Austin Dillon 's No. 33 for RCR chose the ninth stall with an opening behind him. Team Penske 's Ryan Blaney and JRM's Regan Smith round out the top 10 with Blaney picking the 14th stall and Smith choosing the 42nd stall, the first box at the entrance to pit road off of Turn 4. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
JR Motorsports driver is the only one with a shot at $1 million bonus RELATED: Dash 4 Cash Dover photo gallery DOVER, Del. -- Going home $100,000 richer is Regan Smith after finishing highest in the first 2015 XFINITY Dash 4 Cash race at Dover International Speedway on Saturday. The JR Motorsports driver finished third in the Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket . Smith was also the winner of last season's first Dash 4 Cash event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . MORE: Smith attempts to cash giant Dash 4 Cash check When asked what the No. 7 Chevrolet driver was going to spend his crisp $100,000 check on, he put family first. "Well, I've got a baby now and babies seem to take a lot of money," Smith said. "So we'll probably use it for him some how, some shape or form … When he's old enough to know what it is, we'll dump some of it into his college fund." MORE: Smith, wife welcome son Rhett Lee Along with Smith, Chris Buescher , Chase Elliott and Brendan Gaughan will advance to the second round at Indianapolis Motor Speedway . Smith is the only driver able to win an additional $600,000 bonus if he is the highest finishing eligible driver in the three remaining events, and wins the fourth and final race in the contest for a total of $1 million. Looking ahead, the final Dash 4 Cash race will take place at Darlington Raceway , where Smith earned his first Sprint Cup Series victory. "There's a lot of racing and we've got to do a lot of things right between now and (Darlington)," Smith said. "I think the next race is going to be Indy … so we've got to get through Indy first, once we get through Indy, get through Bristol. But I feel like all the tracks that are on the deal this year -- with the exception of Dover (are good for me). Dover was the one I was most worried about. "The rest of them I feel like are tracks that we go into with a lot of confidence as a race team and me as a driver and I think it will definitely be a cool story to pull off that million-dollar deal and winning at Darlington is always special and that place has a special place in my heart so I'd love to get back to Victory Lane there and if that means we can take a million dollars of XFINITY 's money that would be perfect." Daniel Suarez started the race fourth, but finished 19th after receiving a pass-thru penalty for speeding on pit road and then another stop-and-go penalty for speeding on his pass-thru. The No.18 Joe Gibbs Racing driver will not advance to the next Dash 4 Cash lineup. Ty Dillon finished eighth and just missed the cut-off to advance to the next Dash 4 Cash event when Richard Childress Racing teammate Gaughan finished seventh. Darrell Wallace Jr . started the race on the Coors Light Pole and led a total of 52 laps, but contact in the final laps with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Buescher cost him the race and a spot in the next Dash 4 Cash lineup. Buescher won Saturday's race, leading 10 of 200 laps and extending his lead in the points standings to 15 points over Dillon. The next Dash 4 Cash event will be the Lilly Diabetes 250 on July 25 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, IMS, SiriusXM) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway . After that, drivers will compete for the prize money on Aug. 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway and Sept. 5 at Darlington Raceway . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Daniel Suarez makes NASCAR XFINITY Series history by becoming the highest finishing Mexican-born driver with his second-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Joe Gibbs Racing ride could be the start of something big Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daniel Suarez seems to have a sense of how big a leap he's about to make up the NASCAR ladder, but even then, it's still a jump that's difficult for him to grasp. One year ago, Suarez was competing on a makeshift 0.4-mile oval on the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. This year, the 23-year-old driver will be stretching his legs on the full 2.5-mile layout as he opens his first full season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. "Everything is new," Suarez said last Thursday during NASCAR Media Day. "Sometimes I don't even know the level of what I'm getting into, but it's great to be learning about the best drivers, the best race teams, the best brands. It's just a great opportunity of life. I believe this kind of opportunity you get just once in life, and maybe this is mine. I need to try to work 100 percent to make something good happen from this." Suarez's superspeedway debut comes Saturday in the XFINITY season-opening Alert Today Florida 300 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1), but he already has Daytona to thank in part for helping him get his big break. Last February, Suarez prevailed in the Battle at the Beach on the temporary backstretch circuit, right on the heels of a victory at nearby New Smyrna Speedway -- his second K&N win in a span of three days. Those consecutive wins -- combined with his portfolio of 10 victories in three seasons in the NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series -- helped attract the eye of Joe Gibbs Racing, which backed Suarez's XFINITY debut in April at Richmond International Raceway and will field the No. 18 Toyota for him in all 33 races this season. "I think winning is everything," said Suarez , a product of the NASCAR Next youth initiative. "I think if you win races, your name starts getting around and people start knowing more about you and people start getting interested. When I got those two wins at the start of the season, I started getting more opportunities and we started thinking and talking more about 2015. I believe that definitely was a good step to being where we are right now." Suarez moved from his native Mexico to North Carolina three years ago, not just to be closer to the hub of stock-car racing teams but to learn English as a second language. All the while, he continued to compete full time in the Mexico Series, creating a travel and logistics high-wire act with frequent trips between the United States and his homeland. His 2015 slate doesn't include any Mexico Series events, meaning visits to his hometown of Monterrey will come at a far less frequent rate. Instead, Suarez hopes his family will be able to make the trip stateside to see him race. "They're so happy and proud of all this," Suarez said. "My family doesn't come from racing, so this is kind of new for everyone. This is something new that we're exploring, so definitely it's a good experience." To help accelerate his learning process, Suarez plans to compete in 13 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in Kyle Busch Motorsports' No. 51 Toyota, primarily to gain experience at tracks where he's yet to turn a wheel. It's a hefty increase in his workload, which to date consists of just three career starts at the NASCAR national series level. Should the sharp trajectory up the NASCAR ranks continue on its current arc, the top-tier Sprint Cup Series might not be that far off. But Suarez demurs at the suggestion, saying it's too early to forecast such a plan. "I wish," Suarez said with a grin. "We can talk about that right now, but maybe it's not the time. The XFINITY Series is the most important thing right now. Definitely after we progress, after we can be competitive and win some races in the XFINITY Series, that is going to come to our team. For now, it's not in the conversations, but I believe it will come in the timing of the moment." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
BKR driver wins second race of 2015 RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings DOVER, Del. -- Tyler Reddick had a score to settle with Dover International Speedway , and on Friday he did just that, winning the Lucas Oil 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in his second start at the Monster Mile. Reddick passed Erik Jones on Lap 193 of 200 and finished 1.255 seconds ahead of Daniel Suarez , who drove past third-place finisher Jones in the closing laps to take the runner-up spot. The victory was Reddick's second of the season in the No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford, and in the driver's view, it atoned for last year's eighth-place finish in which Reddick underestimated the physical toll high-speed racing at Dover can exact. Specifically, his leg fell asleep as the race progressed. "After what happened to myself last year, not knowing a lot about the g-forces in the corners here -- I was kind of green when it came to asphalt racing," Reddick said. "We had a top-five truck last year, and to have something like that impede our progress in what would have been our first top five… to have something like that mess up what could have been potentially a breakout day for us are the things you can't have happen in racing. "I really wanted to come back here and run really strong, just like I want to run strong every given race. But (last year) gave me a little bit of extra fuel for the fire, and I knew I had to run good here -- and we did." Daniel Hemric posted a career-best fourth-place NCWTS finish in his first race at Dover. Series leader Matt Crafton ran fifth but saw his margin narrowed to 11 points by Reddick, who is second after six races. Ben Kennedy came home sixth, followed by Keystone Light Polesitter Ryan Blaney , Brandon Jones , Johnny Sauter and Tyler Young . Suarez , Jones, Kennedy and Blaney, who finished among the top seven, are all NASCAR Next alums. Though Jones lost one position to Reddick in the series standings, he moved closer to Crafton, now trailing the two-time defending champion by 14 points. Sauter is fourth, 40 points behind Crafton, and could be considered the only other driver within realistic striking distance of the leader at this point in the season. Like Jones, Suarez used a two-tire call to gain track position in the late stages of the race but felt race traffic hindered him in the closing laps. "To be honest, I feel like we had a faster truck," said Suarez , a member of the 2014 NASCAR Drive for Diversity class, who posted his best finish to date in the series. "Traffic was everything. I was talking with my crew chief Jerry Baxter through the radio during the middle of the race. I told him, 'I don't care about tires, I need the track position.' "For sure the track position was very important. Erik Jones he changed just two tires in the last pit stop and he was able to almost get the win and he was driving away, but traffic was a big problem for him and for me and I feel like for everyone. Traffic was something that was a gamble, but overall I feel like we learned some good stuff for tomorrow (in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race)." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule