Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez trade barbs after Darlington crash


DARLINGTON, SC — An aggressive block led to a race-ending crash for three drivers and strong comments from Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez.

The incident was the result of an aggressive block with 49 laps to go in the Southern 500. Suarez dove to the inside to pass Bowman, but the Hendrick driver blocked him.

Suarez countered by moving back toward the top of the track, but Bowman moved up with him. The result was contact that hooked the No. 48 into the wall. The No. 99 Trackhouse Chevrolet spun to the left and into the path of Harrison Burton.

Bowman and Suarez both finished outside of the top 30 after they were in position for top-10 finishes. Burton finished outside of the top 30 after putting himself in position for a top 15.

Suarez exited the infield care center and called Bowman’s block “dumb” during an interview with NBC Sports’ Kim Coon. He also took her through the incident from his perspective.

“That depends who you ask. I had a run on him,” Suarez said. “I went to the inside and after that, he blocked me pretty low. I had to lift a little bit to not wreck him and put him into the inside wall.

“We’re both Chevy partners, so I didn’t want to do that to him. But then I went high and he blocked me again. You can block once, but you can’t block twice like that. We’ve been racing here three and a half hours and to wreck with 40 laps to go, it’s a little bit dumb. Just have to be smart.”

Bowman countered, saying: “Obviously, it didn’t work out. He chose not to lift and to crash us. Every time I race (Suarez), he does something dumb, whether it’s his crew chief flipping me off on the way to the airport or any time I’m around him, he blocks me really aggressively.”

The two drivers were not the only ones involved in the back-and-forth discussion. Travis Mack, the crew chief for the No. 99 team at Trackhouse Racing, also got involved with a series of posts on X, formerly known as Twitter. He disputed the comments about him flipping off Bowman.

The tone of the posts changed after the clock struck midnight. Mack confirmed that he and Bowman were talking about the incident. Mack said that maybe he and the Hendrick driver should get some T-shirts made for charity.

This is something that Bowman has done in the past as he has used proceeds to make donations to animal shelters.

He made “Hack” shirts after winning the Martinsville elimination race in 2021, and he made “All luck, no skill” shirts after winning at Las Vegas last season. Both shirts drew inspiration from comments by Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

The shirts remain a possibility, but they will not be the focus for the two Chevrolet drivers. Bowman and Suarez will continue the pursuit of their first win of the season during the remaining nine races.

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