Daniel Suarez fined for retaliation in NASCAR race at COTA

Daniel Suarez ran into teammate Ross Chastain as well as Alex Bowman after the race at Circuit of the Americas

Over the weekend, NASCAR went road course racing in Austin, Texas. It took triple-overtime to settle the NASCAR Cup Series event on the 20-turn Circuit of the Americas.

View the NASCAR penalty report from COTA below.

On a restart in NASCAR Cup Series overtime, drivers played bumper cars, some more than others. In one of those cases, Ross Chastain shoved Alex Bowman into Chastain’s own teammate, Daniel Suarez.

After the race, Suarez passed most of the field on the cool down lap. He gave Ross Chastain a shot on the bumper as they entered the pit lane, moving him out of the way.

Then, Bowman lined up the rear bumper of Alex Bowman on the pit lane. He gave him a shot, stood back on the gas and gave him another one.

Bowman stepped on the brakes and came to a stop. Suarez parked it on his bumper. Meanwhile, officials stood by and waved both cars forward.

When they exited their cars, Suarez first approached Bowman. Bowman then directed Suarez to his own teammate, Ross Chastain. The two teammates had a somewhat heated conversation.

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NASCAR’s view

In the past, NASCAR has fined drivers for intentional contact after the checkered flag. They specifically don’t like when the contact is made on the pit lane, near officials and other NASCAR members standing on the pit lane.

Last season, Ty Gibbs ran into Ty Dillon while on the pit lane at Texas Motor Speedway. Gibbs was found in violation of the rulebook and handed a $75,000 fine for the contact.

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“Oh absolutely,” NASCAR’s Elton Sawyer said Tuesday morning via Sirius XM of the sanction reviewing the incident.

Sawyer added, “We’ve had conversation with Daniel. It’s uncharacteristic of Daniel, there’s no excuse for what happened. We’ll take a deeper dive into that with our team here today.”

Daniel Suarez runs into Alex Bowman after COTA race (Video)

Alex Bowman comments

“He just thought I drove in and tried to drive through him,” Alex Bowman told NASCAR.com of Suárez. “I had the corner made. Only reason I was inside of the 99 was to protect from the 1. Then the 1 just hammered me in the corner, dumped me, then I ran into the 99, kind of cleaned him out.”

Ross Chastain comments

“He (Suárez) is mad at me for being two rows back,” Chastain later told reporters. “He’s always mad at me. … I shouldn’t say that. He’s not always mad at me. He’s mad at me for a restart.”

“I’m getting run into, and then I’m running into people. I got spun a couple restarts before, and he got it later,” said Chastain, who finish to fourth.

He added, “I didn’t get mad when I got spun. I just tried to get my car to start. It was in, like, low-load protection mode, and once I got the ECU cycled, I got going, and I never thought about it again.

“I don’t understand how we can be so upset about crazy restarts that we’re doing.”

“These cars are so tough, we can run into each other,” Chastain said. “I mean, there’s just lines of cars all pushing each other on the brakes. And nobody’s going in there saying, ‘I’m gonna hit somebody,’ but it’s just, the leader has to check up, and it just magnifies itself. So, I tried being up top and going around the outside and got spun. I went on the bottom and got slammed into.”

“Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained?” Chastain said. “I mean, come on. This is what we love. I don’t love it doing it, but this is, as a sport, we’re not boring.”

Trackhouse Racing team co-owner comments

“There’s a lot of emotion on pit road after the race,” Trackhouse Racing co-owner Justin Marks explained on SiriusXM.

“Obviously, Daniel was just stewing in his emotions on that cooldown lap and it didn’t stop after he hit the 48. You know, he got out of his car and saw Ross there and knew Ross was a part of that train that was coming in and wanted to express his emotions to Ross. It’s part of the competitiveness of the series.”

“Daniel had a day that was shaping up for him to be able to have a great race,” said Marks.

“He was really focused hard on this race all week in his preparations and felt like he had a real shot at winning and I think he was in a position to contend for it. I think, you know, just compound all that and you’re hot, you’re tired and then it kinda just hits the fan at the end of the race – and we just saw that emotion boil over.”

“But I’ll tell ya,” Marks said. “I mean, I’d rather have two guys mad about losing than two guys that get out of the car and go ‘Oh, well. We’ll go to Richmond.’”

Daniel Suarez runs into Alex Bowman after COTA race (Video)

NASCAR Penalty Report
Circuit of the Americas

Driver/Team: Daniel Suarez (No. 99)

Infraction Date: March 26, 2023

Penalty Level: Behavioral

Infraction: 4.4.B&D NASCAR Member Conduct, contact with another vehicle on pit road after the race

Penalty: Daniel Suarez has been fined $50,000


Daniel Suarez | Ross Chastain | Alex Bowman | Circuit of the Americas | NASCAR