NASCAR drivers Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell got into a bit of an altercation in pit row at Busch Pole Qualifying on Friday. Things looked a little intense from the camera’s perspective, but commentators and McDowell didn’t appear to be too fazed.
Apparently Suarez couldn’t get around McDowell in the first round of qualifying and got frustrated. Seems like Suarez felt McDowell wouldn’t get out of his way, while McDowell thought Suarez was trying to crash him.
After pulling into the pits after taking laps, Suarez went to find McDowell, McDowell ending up “shoving” him, and the two got twisted up for a few seconds before the scrap was broken up according to NASCAR.com. Looked like more of a throat grab than a shove to me, which you have to admit, would be somewhat more aggressive. NASCAR.com had quotes from both drivers.
“He was in my way in the corner of (Turns) 1 and 2 and I assumed he would get out of my way in Turn 3 and 4 and he didn’t. ... He was in my way for the entire second lap and he messed up my opening of the third lap. So, he pretty much messed up my whole qualifying.”
“I’m the kind of driver that I’m going to give a lot of respect to you, always, if you give me respect back. If you don’t give me respect, I’m going to go kick your ass.”
“It was kind of chaotic out there. I’d be upset, too. I messed up his lap but then he tried to crash us. ... I made a mistake, an honest mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. It’s just part of it. … It’s not how we wanted it to go. It hurt us as well.
“When you mess with somebody’s lap I understand they’re frustrated. But when you try to hurt somebody and damage hundreds of thousands of dollars of race cars, that takes it to a whole other level.”
“We were at a hockey game last night. ... Don’t read too much into it. It’s emotions, man. Just the way it is.”
“What happened on the race track wasn’t acceptable in my eyes. So, that’s it.”
At least one commentator didn’t seem to think anyone was out of line, either.
I don’t know, man. Obviously there’s a lot of money and pride on the line here but let’s try and keep our hands to ourselves and play nice.
NASCAR will be on TV all weekend.