Fight breaks out between drivers after round one of knockout qualifying at ISM Raceway
Round one of knockout qualifying is only a short 10 minute session for 2019. Drivers must be in the top 24 on the timing sheet to advance into round two. Things intensified as most of the field waiting until the final moments to hit the track.
Watch the Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell fight video below.
View the full ISM Raceway starting lineup here.
That put a bulk of cars on the track at the same time. It’s a recipe for a traffic jam. Suarez found himself on the losing end of that.
After round one, Suarez found himself 28th on the board. He climbed from his car to have a conversation with Michael McDowell.
McDowell would have none of it. He immediately grabbed him by the throat. Suarez re-engaged.
Suarez grabbed McDowell by the neck. The two then traded blows as McDowell was tossed to the ground.
The crew jumped into the scene. One of McDowell’s crew members tossed the fun-sized Daniel Suarez onto the hood of the McDowell machine. McDowell began trying to pull Suarez off the hood of his car by pulling on the driving shoe of Suarez. After climbing from the ground, he wanted more.
McDowell then pulled his helmet off. As the drivers calmed down there were able to talk about what happened.
Michael McDowell on the fight with Suarez
“It’s just miscommunication on the race track,” McDowell told FOX Sports after the incident.
“We all kinda waited until the end. You just had a lot of traffic. It’s just unfortunate. He was upset that I held him up on his good lap.”
“Then, he tried to crash us. I just didn’t appreciate it.”
“It’s all part of it.”
Daniel Suarez on Michael McDowell
“It’s just a lack of respect,” Daniel Suarez stated moments after the incident.
“Track position is very big in the races these days. You have to qualify well to have a good stall on pit road.”
“The race is long. So, you can always overcome that.”
“It’s just a lack of respect. Everyone here in the garage knows that, the second lap is the good one. You have to try and get out of the way if someone is coming on a hot lap.”
“He just didn’t. He killed me in one corner. I thought he was going to get out of the way in the second corner, he didn’t.”
“I tried to wreck him. Then, he was disappointed that I was trying to wreck him.”
“That’s all racing,” Suarez concluded.