Suarez races to All-Star pole at North Wilkesboro

Nigel Kinrade/Motorsport Images

Suarez races to All-Star pole at North Wilkesboro

NASCAR

Suarez races to All-Star pole at North Wilkesboro

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Daniel Suarez will start from the pole in the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway after winning the first heat race Saturday night.

He led twice for 34 laps. The No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet started from the pole in the heat race but lost the lead on the start to Chase Elliott, fighting back to regain the top spot on lap 27 and led the rest of the way.

“It was fun to go through those transitions of the wet track and then halfway dry. It wasn’t 100 percent dry, but it was halfway there,” Suarez said. “We started the race, and obviously, nobody knew what to expect. The No. 9 (Elliott) did a better job than myself. I don’t know if he was more aggressive or his car happened to work out better in the wet conditions because in the first 10 laps, I didn’t have anything for him. I was just trying to break even. On lap 15, I knew it was coming (to me). On lap 20, I knew I was better.”

There was one caution during the first heat race, and it was a competition caution for tires. NASCAR officials started the race on wet weather tires with the track still damp. On lap 33, officials threw the caution flag because the rain had picked up and had teams come down pit road for a new set of wet weather tires.

It was a non-competition pit stop cycle, so the field did not change position.

Suarez led Joey Logano across the finish line, who was followed by Chase Briscoe and Christopher Bell. Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Ryan Blaney finished sixth, and Elliott finished seventh. Elliott led 26 laps.

Kevin Harvick finished eighth, Austin Cindric ninth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 10th and Erik Jones brought up the rear of the 11-car field.

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