Suarez and McDowell were called to the NASCAR hauler today in Phoenix
Daniel Suarez: “If you don’t give me respect, I’m going to go kick your ass.”
On Friday, ISM Raceway hosted knockout qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. A bulk of the field was waiting for the last minute to touch the track in round one.
Watch the NASCAR fight video below.
That created a traffic jam on the race track. Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell found themselves fighting for the same space. McDowell held up Suarez during his hot lap. The #41 spotter then urged Suarez to retaliate.
Suarez asked over the radio, “Something’s wrong with this guy?”
“Yeah, push him if you got to,” his spotter responded.
After that, Suarez decided to pull into the pits. Only, he wasn’t in a hurry to get below the yellow line. Instead, Suarez jumped on the brakes and stayed on the race track until the last second in turn two.
“Make sure he doesn’t get the rest of his lap right here. There you go! Hold him out there,” the spotter stated as Suarez came to the pit entry.
McDowell was forced outside of the groove as he exited turn four. He was in the marbles and had to jump completely out of the gas to avoid the wall.
Both drivers were knocked out of NASCAR qualifying after the first of three rounds.
Suarez and McDowell fight after qualifying
Daniel Suarez climbed from his car and marched over to the pit stall for Michael McDowell. As he approached, he was met with hands.
McDowell grabbed him by the throat. Suarez then threw a punch. Both drivers went to the ground in a tangled mess.
Crew members for Michael McDowell then rushed into the scene. Suarez was pushed on the hood of McDowell’s car. McDowell tried to get after him by pulling him off the hood.
Eventually, things calmed down and the two drivers were able to talk about what happened on the race track.
On Saturday morning, the two drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler. That’s not a phrase we hear much of anymore.
On Sunday, the drivers will start 27th and 28th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event. That also puts them in the same truck during the parade laps.
Daniel Suarez explains the meeting with NASCAR
“NASCAR wanted to make sure that we’re not going to go out there on Sunday and wreck each other on the first lap,” Daniel Suarez told FOX Sports of the meeting with NASCAR.
“Which honestly is not my style. If I wanted to wreck him, I could have done that yesterday. That’s not my style. I would never use my race car as a weapon.”
“That’s not who I am. I prefer to fix things in person. That’s exactly the way that we did it, I guess.”
“I’m not fixed. I’m not really into fix[ing] something like that. I just put my point clear and why I was that mad.”
“He had his point. Which, I don’t think is as good as mine. We won’t go out there and fight each other. But, we’re not best buddies either,” Suarez concluded with a laugh.
Michael McDowell comments on high emotions in racing
“It’s a new day, fresh start, Michael McDowell stated on Saturday morning.
“We got a couple practices ahead of us. Just stay focused on that. NASCAR just wanted to make sure that everything’s handled and nothing’s carrying over to the race on Sunday.”
“It’s just kinda of a formality more than anything.”
“It’s an emotional sport. We both have a lot on the line. We’re trying to do the best job that we can for our partners and teams.”
“So, emotions come out. That’s what racing’s all about. That’s what it’s always been about. You saw that yesterday.”
“Obviously, I wasn’t excited with what he did on the race track. He was upset that I held him up. I understand that.”
Suarez all but stopped coming to the pit lane after he was held up moments before. McDowell was on a hot lap of his own at that point.
“I thought that what happened was a little bit dangerous and was pretty upset about it.”
Watch the NASCAR fight video below.