SUAREZ WINS FOURTH CONSECUTIVE RACE
Following the announcement of a ten-year extension of the agreement between NASCAR and OCESA, the leading live entertainment company in Latin America, the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series celebrated the start of its 11th season and the 50th anniversary of Phoenix International Raceway with a thrilling ending in the Toyota 120.
Daniel Suarez claimed his fourth consecutive victory in NASCAR touring series races by making a daring last-lap pass of Antonio Perez in the backstretch dogleg and fending off a late charge from defending series champion Rodrigo Peralta to claim victory by .097 seconds. With the top three all on fatigued tires, Peralta was able to slip past Perez coming out of turn 4 for a second-place finish.
The first half of the Toyota 120 was plagued by wrecks and caution flags, but it still got off in daring fashion as Perez dove from his position in third below pole-sitter Ruben Pardo in turn 1, which allowed outside pole-sitter Suarez to pull into the lead.
The first caution period came on lap 5 as Hector Felix spun his Toyota off turn 3. It was only the beginning: the yellow flag waved six times in the first half of the race. Things settled down after that with Perez showing the way, and the race went caution-free from a restart on lap 65 to the end.
Suarez was caught speeding on pit road on a lap 46 pit stop and was assessed a pass-through penalty, forcing him to roll down pit lane as the rest of the field sped past, in the process dropping from first to 12th. He clearly had the fastest car, but it became a question whether he could get around Perez as the laps ticked by.
Pole-sitter Pardo also ran into challenges, as a handling issue sent him tumbling through the field and behind a lap at mid-race, but the 34-year-old came charging forward to claim a top-five finish.
Phoenix’s 50th anniversary kick-off weekend continues Saturday with the Blue Jeans Go GreenTM 200, Presented by Cotton, The Fabric of Our Lives® at 1:45 p.m. MST and concludes Sunday with The Profit on CNBC 500, Presented by Small Business Fueling America.
Both races will feature some of the most talented drivers in motorsports, but they will be hard-pressed to produce an ending as dramatic as Suarez, Peralta and Perez dazzled fans with on Friday night.
Related PIR News
Phoenix International Raceway today announced an exciting new partnership with locally-based El Sol Foods as the track's official salsa. The family-owned and operated business based in Gilbert, Ariz. has been named the exclusive salsa partner of its hometown track for the Nov. 11-13 race weekend.
Phoenix International Raceway announced today that tickets for the semifinal race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Can-Am 500, will go on-sale Friday, June 3. Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased by visiting PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 866-408-RACE (7223).
High speeds, strategic pit stop gambles, unexpected mechanical problems and amazing car control came into play Saturday night in the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix. When the dust settled, it was reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, who scored his first victory at Phoenix International Raceway.
It’s official - Helio Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Chevy for Team Penske, is the new “Speed King” of Phoenix International Raceway.
Phoenix International Raceway will celebrate its rich history of IndyCar competition by saluting many legendary drivers and team owners Saturday, April 2 before the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, the first Verizon IndyCar Series event at the one-mile desert oval since 2005.