Daniel Suarez’s appearance in the Daytona 500 probably ended a little sooner than he had planned.
Suarez, the first Mexican-born NASCAR driver to compete in the stock car racing organization’s Cup series, finished 141 laps of the 200-lap, 500-mile race on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 26) at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. A wreck on lap 142 put his car out of commission. Shortly after the accident, his official Twitter page tweeted: “We are done for the day.”
Overall, the race didn’t go as well as Suarez had hoped, he suggested during an interview with Fox Sports, which televised the race live.
“I don’t feel like I did a really good job in the first part of the race,” the Monterrey native said. “I made a lot of mistakes.”
Some of those miscues came during an early pit stop. As his Twitter page announced, he missed his designated box along pit road and was penalized for speeding “while trying to pit.” As a result, he was two laps off the lead lap for a while.
“I just wasn’t able to slow down enough to get into my box – and then, I made a couple (of) mistakes there,” Suarez told Fox Sports.
Another Latino driver, however, finished the race. Aric Almirola, who led briefly, finished fourth. Kurt Busch won the race – his first-ever Daytona 500 victory.
Next up for Suarez, Almirola, Busch and other drivers competing in the Monster Energy Cup Series is the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, scheduled for this Sunday (March 5) at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Suarez referenced the race on Sunday in a tweet after he had finished the Daytona 500.
“Just want to thank everyone for the great support on (my) first ever Cup race!” he stated. “Looking forward to work (sic) with my team for Atlanta!”