Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Suarez, Coby Prevail In Battle At The Beach

Suarez is now 2-for-2
Daniel Suarez and Doug Coby held the winning hands in last night’s Second Annual UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway.

Suarez won his second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race in 48 hours, surging to victory in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series portion of the doubleheader event, while Coby claimed the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event.

Suarez dominated the field, fending off several challengers to claim his second checkered flag of the week in the Sunshine State. He drove his Rev Racing/Sunoco Race Fuels Toyota comes to a season-opening victory Sunday at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.

Suarez’s margin of victory was .596 seconds on the short track built on the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway, as the Monterrey, Mexico native claimed his third victory in 32 NKNPS starts. He is a member of NASCAR’s Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport. He was the championship runner-up in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series last season after finishing the 2012 campaign in third place.

Coby won the Modified main event
“I have no words to explain how I feel right now,” said Suarez.  “This is a dream.”

Austin Hill finished second while Brandon McReynolds, son of two-time Daytona 500-winning crew chief Larry McReynolds, battled from 16th position to earn the third slot. Last year’s winner, Cameron Hayley finished 14th.

In the Whelen Modified Tour event, Coby made patience pay off, running among the top five all night and trailing defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece for much of the race. Preece led 145 of the 150-lap feature event, but Dave Sapienza’s lapped car made contact with the left rear of Preece’s machine, badly bending its left-rear wheel.  Coby took advantage after contact on the ensuing restart, taking the lead and claiming the checkered flag victory by a margin of .322 seconds.

Jason Myers finished second, while Luke Fleming took the third-place finish.  Preece, who started on the pole, hung on to finish fourth with Burt Myers rounding out the top five.

“You cross your fingers that the guy behind you will try something, but not wreck you,” said Coby.  “I just got lucky, that’s how it ended.”

Coby’s win is the second Battle At The Beach victory for his team. Steve Park won the inaugural race at Daytona last year. The 2012 NWMT champion started the race in the fifth position.  

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