Suarez, McDowell in qualifying dustup for NASCAR race

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Daniel Suarez threw Michael McDowell to the ground and the drivers had to be forcibly restrained after both were eliminated in the first round of qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series race at ISM Raceway.

Just about everybody waited until the last couple minutes of the 10-minute qualifying session before going to the track, creating chaos on the mile-long track. Suarez and McDowell kept jockeying with each other, ultimately ruining both qualifying attempts.

After they got out of their cars, Suarez hopped a concrete wall and exchanged words with McDowell before spinning him to the ground. Crew members finally pulled the two apart.

Suarez called it a “respect” issue, pointing out the importance of qualifying and track position at Phoenix, while McDowell downplayed the altercation as “just miscommunication the track.”