Thursday, 25 July 2024

Larson, Suarez return to MIS with goal of return to Victory Lane

Posted On Friday, 16 June 2017 14:17 Written by
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BROOKLYN, MIch. -- A couple of drivers who know about winning at Michigan International Speedway are Daniel Suarez, who got his first win in the Xfinity series last year at MIS, and Kyle Larson, who earned his first Cup win at MIS in 2016.

Both are back to compete this year -- with Suarez now in the No. 19 Cup car vacated by Carl Edwards -- and they reflected on their wins here and looked ahead to this Sunday's race.

Suarez said Michigan will always be special to him throughout his career.

“I think it’s going to be always a special place. The first one – the first one is always a very, very special one, as you know, and the way that we got that victory here just a year ago it was very good. And another thing like you just mentioned, it gave us confidence and momentum to move forward and to keep working and to eventually be able to get the championship, so very happy to be here."

Suarez anticipated that this year's race will have a different feel due to stage racing.
“Well, this is a great place – very, very fast race track that obviously gives you options about what to do with tires and with strategy and stuff and the stage races, they just give you one more thing to think about – how the race is going to play out. You know that you for sure you’re going to have caution on lap whatever and another caution in the lap wherever, so I feel like on any race track it’s been truly a success and here in Michigan it won’t be anything different.”

Larson, meanwhile, led the first Cup practice Friday at Michigan, showing he hasn't forgotten how to get around this place.

“I always enjoy coming to Michigan," he said Friday "We have had great speed all year long. So, I think it showed again here in first practice. We had some good speed. It was nice that we got on the other side of it, so we know kind of how far to go back on it and, yeah, should be, hopefully a good weekend. A good start to the weekend, so keep going.”

There's been a definite shift in NASCAR this year, with veteran drivers leaving the sport and a a rise in the number of younger drivers winning races for the first time. And Larson is a fan of that type of change.

“I think it’s awesome. It’s a great time for all of us young guys to start winning with some of our veterans who have been in the sport for a while starting to retire it’s a good time for fans to start picking new drivers," Larson said Friday. "With a lot of fun running up front, it’s making it really exciting. It was awesome to see Ryan Blaney win last week, Austin Dillon win a few weeks ago, (Ricky) Stenhouse, myself winning earlier this year, but getting my first win last year. Chase Elliott has been close to winning, it seems like 10 races. Erik Jones is really good. There are so many young guys that are hopefully going to be the future of the sport. So, as long as we can keep continuing to run up front and we can build a bigger fan base and help the sport out, I think that would be good.”

One driver who has yet to get to Victory Lane in Cup series, but definitely has the talent, is Suarez. And he's got a plan to inch his way closer and closer to that goal.

“It’s very cool to see this new generation of drivers being successful in NASCAR. I was very, very happy for Ryan last week – that was an incredible race and incredible win. Overall, I feel like we have to keep working on ourselves. We have to keep working on the race team. I feel like – like I said, were getting better, but it’s not easy. It’s not easy to win races in the Cup Series – it’s not easy at all," Suarez said Friday. "I feel like now, we are getting more comfortable running in the top-10. We have to keep working to make that top-10 be a top-five and after that I feel like we can have a shot every weekend. Once you start running in the top-five, you can be a contender.”

Matt Myftiu can be reached on Twitter @MattMyftiu. AutoTechReviews can be reached on Twitter @AutoTechReview. You can email Matt Myftiu at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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