Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez showed his anger for two other NASCAR Cup Series drivers after taking the checkered flag at Circuit of the Americas. He rammed their cars en route to pit road and set up possible penalties.
Suarez’s in-car camera provided a firsthand look at some post-race anger. The driver of the No. 99 raced his way through the field after taking the checkered flag, and he bumped teammate Ross Chastain out of the way before heading down pit road. Suarez then hit Alex Bowman from behind multiple times while an official stood nearby.
There are specific rules that focus on actions such as those committed by Suarez. Section 4.4B of the Rule Book notes that drivers can be penalized for “Intentionally damaging another vehicle on pit road.”
The list of potential penalties for these actions includes the “loss of 25-50 driver and/or team owner points and/or $50,000 – $100,000 fine.” A suspension is also possible depending on how the sanctioning body views the incident.
Another Driver Received a Penalty for Pit Road Actions
There is a precedent that sets up a potential penalty for Suarez. NASCAR also issued penalties to a different Cup Series driver due to his actions on pit road at Texas Motor Speedway in 2022.
Ty Gibbs and 23XI Racing were the recipients of penalties from NASCAR after the fill-in driver had a run-in with then-Petty GMS driver Ty Dillon. The No. 42 of Dillon made contact with Gibbs’ No. 23 as they both went to make their way back onto the track. Gibbs responded to the contact by slamming into Dillon’s Chevrolet Camaro.
NASCAR viewed the incident as a significant safety concern given that there were officials and RFK Racing crew members working in the immediate vicinity. The sanctioning body responded to Gibbs’ actions by fining him $75,000 and docking 23XI Racing 25 owner points. Gibbs was not eligible for driver points due to competing full-time in the Xfinity Series.
According to the penalty report issued on September 9, 2022, Gibbs’ actions were in violation of Sections 4.3.A & 4.4.C of the NASCAR Rule Book: NASCAR Member Code of Conduct. The notes also listed “retaliatory vehicle contact on pit road with crew members/officials in close
proximity; second offense.”
The second offense mentioned in the penalty report was in reference to an incident from Martinsville Speedway earlier in the season. Gibbs hit the No. 1 of Sam Mayer on pit road after an Xfinity Series race. He then got in a fistfight with the JR Motorsports driver.
What Caused Suarez’s Anger?
There was one main reason for Suarez’s post-race anger at Circuit of the Americas. He missed out on a top-five finish due to an incident on one of the multiple overtime attempts.
Suarez joined the field in overtime, and he headed up the hill toward Turn 1 in a car capable of contending for the win. However, Chastain got into the rear of Bowman, which sent the No. 48 into the side of Suarez’s No. 99. The Trackhouse Racing driver then lost control and sent Martin Truex Jr. spinning.
Suarez didn’t appear to sustain much damage in the incident, but he was not able to work his way through the field. He was stuck against Truex, who was facing the wrong direction, while the rest of the field went past them.
Bowman went on to finish third overall in what was his second consecutive top-five at COTA. Chastain made his way back up to fourth after an earlier incident led to him getting stuck on the side of the track.