NASCAR announced Wednesday that Daniel Suarez has been fined $50,000 for a post-race incident at Circuit of the Americas in which he rammed into the rear bumper of Alex Bowman's car on pit road after the checkered flag. Suarez was penalized under Section 4.4.B&D of the NASCAR member code of conduct (Contact with another vehicle on pit road after the race).
During the second attempt at overtime, Suarez had been running inside the top five when a stack-up happened that saw Ross Chastain push Bowman into the bumper of Suarez's car entering the heavy braking zone in Turn 1. The contact sent Suarez into Martin Truex Jr.'s car, causing an accident that spun Truex out while also cutting down Suarez's right front tire. Suarez was relegated to a 27th-place finish, while Bowman and Chastain finished third and fourth, respectively.
Under caution, Suarez had expressed his displeasure with both Bowman and Chastain over his team radio. "Unf---ing believable," he said. "I can't wait to get to the 48 and the 1 ... I'm gonna kick their asses." Then, on the cooldown lap after the race, Suarez asked his crew directly where Bowman and Chastain were.
Suarez would eventually catch both cars on the entry to pit road, first knocking Chastain's out of the way before hitting Bowman's bumper repeatedly. The confrontation occurred in the vicinity of a NASCAR official at pit entrance who was directing traffic on where to go.
Daniel Suarez Is NOT HAPPY. pic.twitter.com/Nx7mIyJZkN— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) March 26, 2023
"He just thought I drove in and tried to drive through him," Bowman told Fox Sports. "I had the corner made. Only reason I was inside of the 99 was to protect from the 1. Then the 1 just hammered me in the corner, dumped me, then I ran into the 99, kind of cleaned him out.
"Daniel and I, we've been teammates in the past, raced together a long time. I respect the hell out of him. I'm sure he's still not super happy. Just tried to explain that I wouldn't race him like that, that I was shoved in there."
Suarez would then get out of his car to confront both Bowman and Chastain, the latter of which became an argument between the two Trackhouse Racing teammates. During an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, team owner Justin Marks addressed the dispute between his two drivers.
"It's part of the competitiveness of the series," Marks said. "I think Daniel had a day that was shaping up for him to be able to have a great race. He was really focused hard on this race all week in his preparations and felt like he had a real shot at winning, and I think he was in a position to contend for it. I think you just compound all that -- you're hot and you're tired, and then it kind of just hits the fan at the end of the race and you just saw that emotion boil over.
"But I'll tell you, I'd rather have two guys mad about losing than two guys that get out of the car and go, 'Oh well, we'll go to Richmond.'"
NASCAR's discipline to Suarez was contained to only a monetary fine. Under Section 4.4B of the NASCAR rule book, intentionally damaging another vehicle on pit road can result the loss of anywhere from 25-50 driver/owner points and a $50-100,000 fine, depending on the severity and egregiousness of the actions or other factors.