Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez isn’t happy with the Cup series accessory driver. He promised to pay Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell after the call sent him to the wall during the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
“Whenever I need, I’ll take him back,” Suarez said while out after the race. “I’m not saying it’s going to be Kansas or Bristol. But sure, he owes me one, and I’ll save that for later.”
Suarez went on to say that he would decide when to deliver his payoff and that the call should not have happened. He said he was lucky to be able to continue racing after hitting the wall “very hard” and losing several places at the end of the stage.
The accident occurred with five laps remaining in the second stage. Suarez and Bale raced alongside William Byron and Joey Lugano behind them. Bell pinched number 99 from the outside, forcing him to crash into a wall. This contact damaged Suarez’s financial car and led to him losing places to Bale, Lugano, Byron and Alex Bowman.
Suarez was still able to secure three points in the second stage, but it was less than he was striving to secure. He also had to worry about the extent of damage to Flight 99 of the remaining 500 Southerners.
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Suarez criticized the approach of some drivers
Suarez had only made his Cup Series playoff debut, but he avoided some “rookie mistakes” during the Southern 500. He didn’t press hard trying to secure stage points or compete for victory, and left South Carolina with points added for his overall.
Suarez noted that different drivers took a different approach under the spotlight. He noted their aggressiveness while making it clear that the Southern 500 was only the first race in the Cup Series qualifiers. There are still two more races left before the field drops to just 12 drivers eligible for the championship.
“How smart are some drivers?” Suarez asked in a video recorded by TSJ SportsNoah Lewis. “It’s only the first round – the first race – and we’re really racing like this. We’re not in Stage 3 yet. But that’s what it is. I can only control the 99.”
Suarez got some points during the knockout race
While Suarez took some damage during the knockout race, he was able to make some moves and move into the round of 16 on the leaderboard. He is now sitting above the cut-off line with two races remaining in the Round of 16. Although he has a slim advantage over Penske’s Austin Sendrick.
Suarez entered the playoff round at the weekend at a disadvantage given that he was below the initial level. He needed to make some moves to avoid an early exit from qualifying, but first he had to overcome another big setback.
The #99 Chevrolet Trackhouse Racing has failed the test three times at Darlington Raceway. This means Suarez will lose a crew member, his selection at the booth, and the chance to post a qualifying roll. He had to start from the back of the field and then send a penalty pass on the opening lap of the Southern 500.
While he fell into a bosom early, Suarez received a gift early. The downpour forced NASAR officials to drop the warning flag on lap 6, allowing the 99th driver to take the wave and return to lap one.
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