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.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.