NASCAR has issued two significant penalties in recent weeks, one to Cole Custer and one to Bubba Wallace. Both elicited strong opinions from fans and media members alike, but one driver supports the decisions.
Daniel Suarez, the driver of the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet Camaro, provided his thoughts on the matter at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He told media members that he was glad that NASCAR suspended Wallace for one race for wrecking Kyle Larson and fined Custer and docked him 50 points for slowing down to help Chase Briscoe advance in the playoffs.
“Honestly, it hasn’t changed anything in the way that I think or the way that I do things,” Suarez said during his morning press conference. “Because in my opinion, all those moves were extremely, extremely dumb. Both of them. And with both of them, I was going to be extremely surprised if they were not penalties.
“Like before even those situations happened, I would never do something like that. Not that clear, you have to be smarter. I don’t know what those guys were thinking. I am glad NASCAR is reacting to this because when is too much? When is too much of helping a teammate?”
Suarez May Adjust How He Approaches Certain Races
Suarez made it clear that he wouldn’t intentionally slow down and help a teammate potentially win a race or score enough points to advance in the playoffs. Though he also acknowledged that he may adjust how he approaches certain on-track battles.
As Suarez noted, his teammate still has a lot on the line. Ross Chastain remains eligible for a spot in the championship four. He could secure this with a win at either Homestead-Miami Speedway or Martinsville Speedway. He could also point his way into the finale.
“People know I want to race, and I race everyone very hard,” Suarez added. “But in the next few weeks, I am going to race Ross, not super hard. Just because he is my teammate, and I know what is ahead of him. I am going to keep racing him hard, and I will never give up a win to help him. But definitely, my level of aggression toward my teammate right now is going to be a little bit lower.
“But I will never brake to give up a position and I know the consequences of that. That is not professional. The same thing in wrecking somebody in the way it happened last week, it’s not smart, especially with everything that is happening right now. Honestly, I am glad NASCAR stepped in and they were able to put everyone in their places because it was too much.”
Suarez Has Other Goals to Pursue
While Suarez is no longer eligible to secure a spot in the championship four, he still has other goals to pursue. Chief among them is adding more wins to his career resume after he finally broke through at Sonoma Raceway.
Suarez can make some moves in the remaining three races. He can secure points and potentially move up the leaderboard before the end of the season. The highest Suarez can finish the year is ninth in points, and he is currently one spot back.
Kyle Larson is ninth overall with three races remaining. He has a seven-point advantage over Suarez after winning two races during the regular season and posting more top-10 finishes and more top-fives. Though seven points can disappear in a matter of laps depending on how the races progress.