A last-lap pass enabled NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Daniel Suarez to take the checkered flag in tonight’s NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series’ 120-mile season-opener at Phoenix International Raceway.
Suarez had suffered a speeding penalty on pit road earlier in the race, but clawed his way to the front and pulled into second place with 20 laps to go.
After hounding Antonio Perez all the way to the white flag, Suarez got a run on the inside of Perez through the flat part of the PIR dogleg. Suarez was able to complete the pass into Turn 3 and then beat eventual runner-up Rodrigo Peralta to the stripe by less than a car length.
After hanging on for the win, Suarez stopped his car on the frontstretch, stepped onto the roof, and channeled his inner Kyle Busch by taking a bow for the fans.
Suarez has now claimed his fourth straight NASCAR touring win. He won the Toyota Series’ season finale in 2013 and then opened this year’s K&N East season with a pair of wins at New Smyrna (Fla.) and the Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway.
The 22-year-old native of Monterrey, Mexico races for the RevRacing team in the K&N East series, which is the flagship team for NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity project. He was named one of the NASCAR Next prospects for 2013-14 last year.
Perez, Luis Felipe Montano, and Ruben Pardo rounded out the Top 5 finishers. IndyCar Series veteran Mario Dominguez finished in 10th position.
McLaren Formula One drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris are taking pay cuts, while the team is furloughing other employees as part of protective cost-cutting during the coronavirus pandemic.
With F1 racing suspended, McLaren said both drivers and senior management, including chief executive Zak Brown, all agreed to voluntary pay decreases. No figure was given, but McLaren said the percentage of the cut is the same for all employees who are not furloughed.
McLaren said in an email that “these measures are focused on protecting jobs in the short term to ensure our employees return to full-time work as the economy recovers.”
Sainz Jr. tweeted his support, saying “I fully understand these tough decisions and I have obviously decided to take a pay cut. We are all in this together.”
The first eight races of the 22-race campaign have been called off because of the virus. The season-opening Australian GP and the showpiece Monaco GP have been canceled, while the others might be rescheduled.
There is no date set for when the season might start, with the Canadian GP the next scheduled race on the disrupted calendar on June 14.
The season is scheduled to finish with the Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 29, but F1 organizers previously said they anticipated that “the season end date will extend beyond our original end date.”
To further save costs and potentially gain time, engine manufacturers and teams are observing a three-week factory shutdown period. It normally would have been two weeks and would have taken place during the midseason summer break.