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Feb 19, 2014 - 05:43 PM
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Suarez, Coby emerge victorious in UNOH Battle At The Beach
Posted by: ASkyler on Feb 19, 2014 - 05:42 PM
Feature Articles
Suarez, Coby emerge victorious in UNOH Battle At The Beach

Staff Report, NASCAR Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Doug Coby led just three laps, while Daniel Suarez paced the field for 119. But they both walked away with the big prize: A first-place trophy from the UNOH Battle At The Beach that says they won at Daytona International Speedway.

Milford, Conn.’s Coby, the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified champion, took advantage of a late-race incident involving a dominant Ryan Preece and drove to victory in the NASCAR Whelen Modified-NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race on the short track at "The World Center of Racing."

And then Suarez, the 22-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Monterrey, Mexico, made it 2-for-2 in 2014 with a dominant performance in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East portion of the event.


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Suarez won the season-opener on Sunday at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway, just down the road from Daytona. He became the first driver since Sean Caisse in 2006 to start a K&N Pro Series East season by winning the first two races on the schedule.

Suarez also delivered Rev Racing and NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program its 14th victory since 2010. His first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win was earned in 2013 at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway. Including his win in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series finale at Mexico City last November, Suarez has won three NASCAR touring series events in a row.

Austin Hill crossed the finish line second, while Brandon McReynolds was third.

Nick Drake and Lee Pulliam rounded out the top five.

Kenzie Ruston was sixth, followed by Gray Gaulding, Patrick Staropoli, Scott Heckert and Kaz Grala .

In the night’s opening race, reigning Whelen Modified Tour champion, Preece led the first 147 laps after winning the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day. But lap car Dave Sapienza got into Preece on Lap 141 to damage his left rear wheel. On the ensuing restart Preece faded wide in Turns 1 and 2 to open the door for Coby, who restarted third. Coby, then powered to the lead and held off a hard-charging Jason Myers for the victory.

Daytona was Coby’s first start in the No. 2 of Mike Smeriglio III Racing. The team won NASCAR Whelen Modified portion of the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach a year ago with Steve Park behind the wheel.

Coby and Myers were followed across the line by Luke Fleming, Preece, Burt Myers.

Rookie Tommy Barrett Jr., Cody Ware, Ron Silk, Eric Goodale and JR Bertuccio rounded out the top 10.

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