Daniel Suarez Did Not Expect a Penalty After COTA Incident

Daniel Suarez

Getty Daniel Suarez has responded after receiving a $50,000 fine.

NASCAR fined Daniel Suarez $50,000 after the trip to Circuit of the Americas for intentionally running into Alex Bowman’s No. 48 on pit road. This is not something that the Trackhouse Racing driver expected to happen.

Suarez made comments about the penalty on April 1 during a media availability at Richmond Raceway. He spent time expressing frustration with other drivers due to the aggressive nature of late restarts and he pointed to his speed on pit road as a reason why he did not expect to receive discipline.

“No, I was not expecting that just because we were running — based on SMT and stuff I saw — below 20 miles per hour,” Suarez said at Richmond Raceway, per Racer’s Kelly Crandall. “It was very, very slow. And also, the No. 48 car was brake-checking me, so we were not going quick. There was one official there and that was wrong.

“I was not expecting anything, but it is what it is. NASCAR wants to send a message and it’s OK. I’m OK with that. It’s not right what I did, but I don’t think that anything else was going to happen. I wasn’t going to kill somebody like a lot of people thought. But it is what it is. I’ve already moved on from that.”

Contact From Bowman & Chastain Preceded the Pit Road Incident

Daniel Suarez

GettyDaniel Suarez prepares for practice at Road America.

Suarez was running fifth during a late restart when he got knocked out of line. Ross Chastain hit Bowman who then hit Suarez. The No. 99 sent Martin Truex Jr. spinning before getting stuck behind it.

Suarez finished the race 27th instead of contending for the win. He then went out and showed his frustration on the cooldown lap. He knocked Chastain out of the way at the entrance to pit road and then he repeatedly ran into the rear of Bowman’s No. 48 while an official stood nearby.

“No matter what happens, no matter how frustrated you are, you can’t let your emotions run away when you get on pit road and post-race,” Larry McReynolds said during an episode of “NASCAR Race Hub” on March 27.

Jamie McMurray also weighed in with comments about the situation. He said that NASCAR has a zero-tolerance policy and that he expected to see a fine. McMurray also mentioned that a points penalty was possible. Though the sanctioning body ultimately opted for just a fine.

Suarez Does Not Expect Future Conflicts With His Teammate

Trackhouse Racing

GettyDaniel Suarez (left) and Ross Chastain (right) watch qualifying at Dover.

Suarez’s contact with Bowman led to a fine from NASCAR while his post-race argument with Chastain led to questions about teammates working together. Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch weighed in with comments about mending fences with a teammate while team owner Justin Marks said that he preferred angry drivers over those that just looked ahead to the next race on the schedule.

Suarez does not expect there to be future issues with his teammate. He explained that he and Chastain worked out their issues after the trip to COTA. Suarez also noted that both Trackhouse Racing drivers will be in contention to win many more times.

“We know what we did,” Suarez added during his media availability. “It’s not the first time we’ve been in this position, and probably won’t be the last one. That’s part of racing.

“Both cars, on a consistent basis, we’re running in the top five, and we’re going to have situations like this. Sometimes I’m going to be unhappy with him, and sometimes he’s going to be unhappy with me. I don’t see it as a big deal when it comes to Trackhouse. There is not a story there.”

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