Daniel Suarez, Michael McDowell meet with NASCAR officials

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Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell met with NASCAR officials Saturday morning at ISM Raceway, a day after their scuffle on pit road during Cup qualifying.

A NASCAR official confirmed the meeting to NBCSports.com in an email but didn’t provide further details on what the drivers were told.

The altercation occurred after the first round of qualifying. Suarez was angry with McDowell after feeling he impeded his qualifying run. McDowell was angry with Suarez for attempting to block his path later in retaliation as Suarez entered the pits.

Suarez said his relationship with McDowell was “not fixed” after the meeting.

“NASCAR just wanted to make sure that we’re not going to go out there on Sunday and wreck each other on the first lap,” Suarez told Fox Sports 1 of the meeting with McDowell and NASCAR. “Which, honestly, it’s not my style. If I wanted to wreck him I could have done that yesterday. That’s not my style. I would never use my race car as a weapon. That’s not who I am. I prefer to fix things in person. Just exactly the way we did, I guess.

“I just (made) my point clear and why I was mad. He had his point, which I don’t think is as good as mine. We’re not going to go out there and fight each other, but we’re not best buddies either.”

MORE: Long: Emotions boil in Phoenix, providing a spark for NASCAR

McDowell said it is a “new day, a fresh start” for him.

“We got a couple of practices ahead of us, just stay focused on that,” McDowell told FS1, saying the meeting was “a formality more than anything.”

McDowell reiterated what he said Friday that the incident was the result of NASCAR being an “emotional sport.”

“We both have a lot on the line and we’re trying to get the best shot we can for our partners and our teams,” McDowell said. “Emotions come out and that’s what racing’s all about, it’s what it’s always been about. You saw that yesterday. Obviously, I wasn’t that excited with what he did on the racetrack, and he was upset that I held him up. I understand that. I thought what happened was a little bit dangerous yesterday. So I was pretty upset about it.”

After final practice, Suarez spoke more about the altercation, saying some of his emotion stemmed from some run-in between them at Daytona to start the season.

“My temper was a little higher with him,” Suarez told FS1.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver said the scuffle “reminded me of old times.”

“When I was in middle school I used to fight almost every week,” Suarez said. “My dad taught me, ‘Hey, if you’re going to do it, make sure you do it right, but make sure you don’t do it too often.”

 

Saturday NASCAR schedule at Talladega Superspeedway

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Both the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series will race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Cup cars will start the day’s action by qualifying for Sunday’s playoff race, followed by the Truck playoff race and then the Xfinity playoff race.

Talladega Superspeedway (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)

Weekend weather

Saturday: Sunny. High of 78.

Saturday, Oct. 1

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 9:30 a.m. — Truck Series
  • 1 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 10:30 a.m. – Noon — Cup Series qualifying (NBC Sports app, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Truck Series race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 4 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Talladega Xfinity starting lineup: Austin Hill wins pole

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — Austin Hill will lead the field to the green flag Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway after scoring his first career Xfinity Series pole.

Hill won the pole Friday with a lap of 182.036 mph. He will be joined on the front row by fellow playoff contender Ty Gibbs (181.981 mph).

MORE: Talladega Xfinity starting lineup

Playoff drivers will start in seven of the top eight spots. The exception is Sheldon Creed, who will start third after a lap of 181.870 mph. Hill and Creed give Richard Childress Racing the first and third starting spots.

Justin Allgaier (181.529) qualified fourth and Brandon Jones (181.305) completed the top five. Noah Gragson, who has won four races in a row, starts sixth after a lap of 181.134 mph and is followed by playoff drivers Josh Berry (181.052) and AJ Allmendinger (180.932).

The Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network.

Talladega Truck starting lineup: John Hunter Nemechek wins pole

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — John Hunter Nemechek will start on the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race.

Nemechek earned the pole with a lap of 178.767 mph.

Nemechek is one of four playoff drivers starting in the top six: Chandler Smith (second, 177.732 mph), Zane Smith (fourth, 177.061) and Ty Majeski (sixth, 176.744). Majeski clinched a spot in next month’s championship race at Phoenix with his Bristol win.

MORE: Talladega Truck starting lineup

Also qualifying in the top five were Carson Hocevar (177.068) in third and Matt Crafton (176.960) in fifth.

Failing to qualify are Tim Viens, Spencer Boyd, Jason White and Natalie Decker.

Saturday Talladega Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

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The second race of the opening round of the Xfinity playoffs takes drivers to Talladega Superspeedway.

Noah Gragson secured his spot in the next round by winning last weekend at Texas. Ryan Sieg holds the final transfer spot. Riley Herbst is the first driver below the cutline, one point behind Sieg. Also below the cutline are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric (-8 points), Brandon Jones (-12) and Jeremy Clements (-28).

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:09 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:21 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. … The Brookwood High School choir will perform the anthem at 4:02 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 113 laps (300.58 miles) on the 2.66-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 50.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3:30 p.m. on USA Network. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 78 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Noah Gragson won and was followed by Jeffrey Earnhardt and AJ Allmendinger.