'Lack of respect' leads to pit lane scuffle

Image by LaBounty/LAT

'Lack of respect' leads to pit lane scuffle


'Lack of respect' leads to pit lane scuffle


Daniel Suarez (photo above) and Michael McDowell got into a confrontation on pit road following the Friday afternoon first round of qualifying at ISM Raceway.

Team members separated the two after Suarez walked down to McDowell’s pit stall as the latter climbed from his car. The two grabbed each other with Suarez shoving McDowell to the ground. Suarez was then pushed onto the hood of the No. 34 Ford by a crew member, while McDowell was restrained by another.

Moments later, though, the two were seen having an apparently civil conversation.

Suarez said the incident resulted from a ‘lack of respect’ shown on the racetrack.

“Track position is very big. You have to qualify well to have a good stall on pit road and obviously to have a good … race,” he said. “The race is long so you can almost overcome that, but … it was just a lack of respect: Everyone here in the garage knows the second lap is the good one. You have to try to get out of the way if somebody is coming on the hot lap. He didn’t.

“He killed me in one corner. I thought he was going to get out of the way in the second corner, and he didn’t, and I almost wrecked him. And then he was disappointed because I was trying to wreck him afterward.”

McDowell: “Just miscommunication on the race track.” Image by Jarrett/LAT

Said McDowell, “Just miscommunication on the race track. We all kind of waited until the end, and then just had a lot of traffic, so it was just unfortunate. He was upset that I held him up on his good lap, and then he tried to crash us, and I didn’t appreciate it.”

McDowell said the two would talk things over before Sunday’s race and it was just a heat-of-the-moment incident.

McDowell qualified 27th and Suarez 28th for Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500.