NASCAR: Daniel Suarez vomited and still got his best finish in 2 years

Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing Team, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing Team, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Daniel Suarez vomited inside his helmet during the closing stages of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway road course but still managed to finish higher than he did all of last year.

In his second NASCAR Cup Series race driving for the Pitbull and Justin Marks co-owned Trackhouse Racing Team, Daniel Suarez secured his best finish since late in the 2019 season when he was still competing for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Suarez closed out the 2019 season with a 14th place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway behind the wheel of the #41 Ford, and he hadn’t finished higher than 18th in 36 starts since then.

Driving for Gaunt Brothers Racing last season, he finished in a season-high 18th place at Bristol Motor Speedway and then again at Kansas Speedway behind the wheel of the #96 Toyota. His only other top 20 finish was a 20th place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

His 2021 season didn’t get off to a great start, as he was involved in an early Daytona 500 wreck that knocked him out of the race.

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But he bounced back in the Daytona International Speedway road course race, finishing in 16th place, the best finish to date for any of the three new teams to enter NASCAR’s top level this year. And it wasn’t easy getting to the finish line for the 29-year-old Mexican, either.

The driver of the #99 Chevrolet began feeling sick with around 25 laps remaining in Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253. Keep in mind, laps aren’t just a couple dozen seconds each like they are on most of NASCAR’s oval tracks; this 70-lap race was contested around the 14-turn, 3.61-mile (5.810-kilometer) road course in Daytona Beach, Florida.

He made it to 15 laps to go before vomiting inside his helmet, but he kept going.

Keep in mind, the race saw three caution flag periods after the 15 laps to go mark, further lengthening the race and extending the amount of time in which Suarez had to compete with vomit inside of his helmet.

But he did it, and it resulted in his best finish in his last 36 starts.

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Now NASCAR is set to travel to Pitbull’s home track of Homestead-Miami Speedway, which is where Suarez recorded his most recent top 15 finish. How will Mr. 305’s driver perform in the 305? The Dixie Vodka 400 is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 28.