Michael McDowell and Daniel Suarez fight after qualifying at ISM

Heather Diaz
March 12, 2019

Tempers boiled over at the ISM Raceway in Phoenix on Friday, as two NASCAR drivers exchanged blows after their elimination from the first round of the Cup Series. The incident occurred after Suarez, upset with McDowell for impeding his fastest qualifying lap, hopped over a concrete barrier on pit road.

Suarez and McDowell kept getting in the way of each other, and they ultimately ruined each other's qualifying attempts. "Track position is very big in these races these days". 'Everyone here knows the second lap is a good one.

Suarez approaches McDowell and then its off to the 'rasslin.

"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", Suarez said. You have to try to get out of the way if someone is coming on their hot lap. "And then he was disappointed because I was trying to wreck him afterward".

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"He killed me in one corner".

"I assumed he was gonna get out of my way in corner three and four and he didn't. That's part of racing". McDowell said he plans to have another conversation with Suarez prior to Sunday's TicketGuardian 500. Many cars waited until late in the session to make a qualifying run and that caused cars to run up on competitors on the track.

Suarez, who, unlike McDowell, was not wearing his helmet, ended up throwing McDowell to the concrete before several crew members and officials had to pin him against McDowell's vehicle as McDowell got back up. I definitely messed up his lap", McDowell said, "but then he tried to crash us.

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