WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Early in Friday’s opening NASCAR XFINITY Series practice at Watkins Glen, on his third lap of the session but his first at full speed, Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunner Daniel Suarez’s No. 18 Toyota spun out of control near the entrance to Turn 5.
The car nosed into a tire barrier with such force that it lifted the rear tires more than a foot off the pavement. With the Camry beyond repair, the No. 18 crew rolled out a backup car.
“I’m very disappointed because it was my first lap — my first real lap,” said Suarez, unhurt but chagrined. “The first two were just to warm up and feel the brakes, to feel the shifter and everything.
“I just went a little bit too hard for the car for the first lap, and it was 100 percent my mistake. I will try to fix it for the next car.”
Suarez made it through final practice without incident and was 11th on the speed chart at 120.620 mph. Kyle Larson paced the Happy Hour session at 123.623 mph.