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.”
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.”