Karting has accelerated Daniel Suarez’s road course learning curve

Daniel Saurez (Getty Images)

Daniel Suarez is a quick study.

With a racing background that includes very little road course experience, Suarez nevertheless finished third last year at Watkins Glen, his only top-five result in his rookie season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

He matched that third-place run earlier this year at Dover and improved his career best by one position last Sunday at Pocono Raceway. In Sunday’s Go Bowling at the Glen (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Suarez will make his second start at the 2.45-mile road course.

That he has his sights set on another top-five finish at the high-speed road course is emblematic of the 26-year-old Mexican driver’s seamless adaptation to a racing discipline that involves right turns as well as left.

“I didn’t have a lot of road course experience or roval experience when I was young, just go-karts, and that’s pretty much all I did on a road course,” Suarez said on Saturday morning at Watkins Glen.

“After that, I jumped pretty much straight to the stock car stuff, which became more ovals than road course racing.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that the karting experience wasn’t useful.

“I feel like go-karts is like the base of everything,” Suarez said. “It really helps a lot, but it’s very different as well because… just the weight and the way that it drives.

“In the go-kart, you can do everything extremely fast, and in this car, you have to wait longer, but the basics are the same. I feel that has been helpful to be running well in road course racing.”

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