NASCAR America: Daniel Suarez’s playoff hopes are dwindling

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Before the July 1 Cup race at Chicagoland, Daniel Suarez said he would make the playoffs with confidence. Reminiscent of American icon Babe Ruth pointing to a spot in the outfield where his next home run would fly, Suarez called his shot. He has three races remaining to make his call come true.

Without a win at Bristol, Darlington, or Indianapolis making the playoffs is highly unlikely, but it does not detract from his performance last week at Michigan or the potential for this team in the final 13 races of the season.

“He made the comment that he was going to make the playoffs,” Kyle Petty said on Monday’s edition of NASCAR America. “I don’t think he’s going to now. … I think his best shot was in the last three races where at Pocono a second, a fourth at Watkins Glen, and then coming into Michigan, which was a good place for him.”

Suarez showed top-five capable speed during the race, but a crash in qualification forced him to roll off the grid dead last – in 40th. He charged from the back to third by lap 79. He was fourth on lap 180, but the seesaw track position landed him 11th at the checkers.

“He told us how close he’s working with Kyle Busch and that 18 team,” Petty said. “So I expect great things out of him for the rest of the year.

“They may not make the playoffs, but he’s going to be a threat at some of these racetracks.”

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