AVONDALE, Ariz. — Daniel Suarez threw Michael McDowell to the bottom and each drivers needed to be forcibly restrained Friday after they had been eradicated whereas jockeying for place within the first spherical of qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Collection race at ISM Raceway.
Nearly all people waited till the final couple minutes of the 10-minute qualifying session earlier than exiting pit highway, creating chaos on the mile-long monitor. Suarez and McDowell stored getting in the way in which of one another, they usually in the end ruined one another’s qualifying makes an attempt.
After they received out of their automobiles, Suarez hopped a concrete wall and exchanged phrases with McDowell earlier than spinning him to the bottom — McDowell by no means even eliminated his helmet.
It took a number of crew members to lastly pull them aside.
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“Identical to a respect [thing],” Suarez mentioned. “Monitor place may be very massive on this race as of late and you must qualify properly to have an excellent stall on pit highway. … You need to attempt to get out of the way in which if somebody is coming with a sizzling lap. He simply did not.”
Naturally, McDowell noticed issues unfold in a different way.
“Simply miscommunication on the monitor,” mentioned McDowell, an Arizona native who considers Phoenix his house monitor. “All of us waited till the tip and we simply had numerous site visitors. He was upset that we held him up on his good lap, after which he tried to crash us, and I did not respect it.”
The throw-down within the storage space did not fairly attain the identical degree as Jeff Gordon’s memorable brawl with Clint Bowyer at Phoenix in 2012. However it nonetheless coloured an in any other case quiet qualifying session.
McDowell later joked that he and Suarez had been at a hockey sport Thursday evening and to not learn an excessive amount of into the combat. McDowell will begin 25th on Sunday and Suarez 28th.
Tensions had been already excessive when groups arrived in Phoenix, none of them fairly certain what to anticipate with NASCAR’s new guidelines bundle permitting for extra horsepower and extra downforce. However all of them count on passing to be troublesome, and that made qualifying extra necessary than traditional.
“Shorter apply session, shorter qualifying,” McDowell mentioned. “Depth ramps up.”