Daniel Suarez Won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Season Opener at New Smyrna Speedway

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NASCAR K&N Pro Series East racer Daniel Suarez leads the pack at New Smyrna Speedway

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East racer Daniel Suarez leads the pack at New Smyrna Speedway

Daniel Suarez hasn't cooled off since the end of the 2013 NASCAR season. He won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. He also won the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series finale in Mexico City in November.

Suarez, who hails from Monterrey, Mexico, posted his sixth top-three finish in eight NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races.

"The car was really good tonight on the long runs," the 22-year-old Suarez said on Sunday. "It was really awesome on the high line in Turns 1 and 2."

Daniel Suarez celebrates his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win

Daniel Suarez celebrates his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East made its first visit to the half-mile oval at New Smyrna Speedway. Suarez and Cameron Hayley battled for the lead over the last four laps of the race. Suarez inched away after a few laps of side-by-side racing and won by 0.083 seconds ahead of Hayley.

"We dropped back early on and that's what we had planned," said Hayley, who won the pole for the New Smyrna 150 presented by JEGS. "We wanted to be sixth at the halfway break and that's where we were. I could have been a little more aggressive there at the end with Daniel, but it was a good night for the No. 98 Cabinets by Hayley Chevrolet."

Daniel Suarez takes the checkered flag in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Smyrna Speedway

Daniel Suarez takes the checkered flag in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Smyrna Speedway

Rookie Austin Hill took the lead early in the race for three laps. Kenzie Ruston passed Hill for the lead on lap 4 and held it for three laps. Ruston became the first women driver to lead a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race since Danica Patrick at Dover International Speedway in Delaware in 2010.

Gray Gaulding led for five laps before Brandon Jones took over on lap 13. Jones was out front for 35 laps when Suarez jumped out front on lap 48.

Jones ended up in third place, followed by rookie Ben Rhodes in fourth and rookie Lee Pulliam in fifth.

Suarez said after the race, Pulliam looked like his biggest threat. During one of the restarts late in the race, Pulliam and Suarez led the field, but Pulliam couldn't stay with Suarez and dropped out of contention.

"I was waiting for (Pulliam) and I don't know where Cameron came from," Suarez said. "I knew his car was fast since he was the polesitter, but he kind of snuck up on me."


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