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Heat 1 Win Earns Daniel Suarez Pole for All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro

Daniel Suarez scored the victory in Saturday’s first 60-lap heat race at North Wilkesboro, which will put him on pole for Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Race. PC: Jonathan McCoy |

Daniel Suarez and Trackhouse Racing will start from the pole in Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, pulling away from the field to score the victory in the first of two 60-lap heat races.

By virtue of having the quickest time in Friday’s Pit Crew Challenge of those drivers already locked into the NASCAR All-Star Race, Daniel Suarez got to start Saturday’s first heat from the pole position.

However, the pre-determined and seemingly safe plan of running out the entire heat race without any major incidents or controversies, became rather murky when NASCAR determined the heat would start on wet weather tires.

Being extremely cautious on the race’s initial start, Chase Elliott was able to get around Suarez on the outside lane, showing off the short-run speed on his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.

As the run continued, though, Suarez became noticeably quicker than the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro in the middle of the corner, quickly running down the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion and eventually making the pass for the lead.

After hounding Elliott for several laps, the Trackhouse Racing driver was able to sneak to the inside of the NAPA-sponsored Chevrolet after using his front bumper, getting the pass complete with 34 laps to go.

From that point forward, even with a mid-race caution and restart, Suarez was able to hold the field behind him, going on to score the victory in All-Star Heat #1 and therefore winning the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Race.

Joey Logano was able to hold off the drivers behind him to finish in the runner-up position, with Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin completing the top five.

Ryan Blaney ended up sixth at the end of 60 laps, while Chase Elliott drifted back to seventh at the conclusion of the first heat on Saturday, despite leading the early portion of the event.

Kevin Harvick, Austin Cindric, and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. completed the top-10, while Erik Jones finished last of the 11 cars that competed in the first heat race.

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