Suarez charges to second top five of 2019

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN - JUNE 10: Daniel Suarez, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Demo Day Ford, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 10, 2019 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

An up-and-down day ended on the up side for Stewart-Haas Racing driver Daniel Suarez.

After starting ninth in Monday’s Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Suarez fell back in the early going as he fought the handling on his no. 41 Ford. After the second stage, however, Suarez’s car came to life, and by the time the race went to overtime, he had driven up to the sixth position.

Taking advantage of a strong run in the outside lane, Suarez surged forward after the final restart and gained the fourth spot in the two-lap dash to the finish. The top-five result was Suarez’s second of the season and kept him 13th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, solidly in contention for a Playoff spot.

“The car was pretty strong the entire weekend and then again today,” Suarez said. “We just struggled for whatever reasons on the long runs in the first half of the race.

“We were able to make some adjustments and come back, and I’m proud of my guys. We still have some work to do, but we are slowly heading into the right direction.”