Texas Motor Speedway

Day of the Dead inspired this NASCAR driver’s helmet for Sunday’s Texas 500 at TMS

Dallas resident Agustin Chavez designed NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez’s helmet that he will wear Sunday for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was inspired by Dia de los Muertos.
Dallas resident Agustin Chavez designed NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez’s helmet that he will wear Sunday for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was inspired by Dia de los Muertos. Special to the Star-Telegram

Monster Energy Cup driver Daniel Suarez has the home-field advantage heading into Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

This is the home track for the native of Mexico, and he’ll have the home-track advantage, too. Suarez, driver of the No. 41 Ford, had one of his Daniel’s Amigos events at the track Friday for his diehard fans. He debuted his helmet for Sunday’s race. The design was inspired by Dia de los Muertos, which started Thursday and ends Sunday.

The Day of the Dead holiday is huge in the Hispanic culture and Dallas resident Agustin Chavez designed the helmet for Suarez.

“I feel like everything got together extremely well,” said Suarez, whose family and friends are in town for Mexico for the race. “Having Daniel’s Amigos, having the Texas race, having the Dia de los Muertos, having friends and family coming from Mexico. If you asked me what else I could have done better or different to make this weekend more special, I don’t know.”

Suarez said he’d always wanted to race in a helmet to honor the holiday. The plan for this year was to have a sticker on his helmet but after Suarez saw the design Chavez put together, that changed. While three weeks isn’t a lot of time to make a design and get a new helmet, it worked out.

“It’s so colorful, it’s so cool,” Suarez said. “Even if you don’t know what the holiday is, it looks cool.”

It was also a big honor for Chavez, who like Suarez was born in Mexico. He said he was a Suarez fan even before he designed the art for the helmet.

“It’s amazing,” Chavez said. “I don’t even have words to explain it. It’s very cool. For his team to reach out for something like this, it’s a holiday that doesn’t get celebrated much in the United States. Bringing it all these people is huge.”

Surgery for Hamlin

NASCAR star Denny Hamlin will undergo surgery in the offseason to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Hamlin said he’s been dealing with shoulder problems for years and the injury has nothing to do with his scuffle last week with Joey Logano.

Hamlin got a cortisone shot in the shoulder earlier this season. He said the shot has helped, and the injury hasn’t limited him in his car.

“It really has not limited me,” Hamlin said. “It’s uncomfortable while sleeping. I got a cortisone shot, which really helped. It went from being immobile to feeling like nothing’s wrong with it. It hasn’t affected anything in everyday life.”

Speedy Cash re-ups with TMS

Speedy Cash and Texas Motor Speedway have agreed to a multi-year partnership renewal for the June NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race at TMS, which will again be the SpeedyCash.com 400.

As part of the deal, Speedy Cash will donate $1 for every ticket sold to Speedway Children’s Charities.

Practice

Clint Bowyer had the fastest car in the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, posting a fast lap of 188.679 mph. Aric Almirola topped the speed charts in the second practice with a speed of 188.56 mph.

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