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“Won’t Give Him a Break Twice”: Heated Daniel Suarez Warns Rick Hendrick’s Star for Lack of Smartness

Published 09/04/2023, 4:07 PM EDT

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NASCAR’s latest stop at Darlington may have wrapped up, but the drama is just beginning to simmer. And it seems like the flames weren’t ignited here; they were stoked at COTA earlier this year. The first restart of overtime witnessed Daniel Suarez’s dreams of victory dashed, and the culprit appeared to be none other than HMS standout.

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What followed on the cool-down lap was anything but cool as Suarez unleashed a retaliatory move, bumping into the car’s rear near the pit entry. It was a tooth-and-nail battle that spilled over from the race itself. In other words, last week’s race day served as a payback nail in the coffin for Suarez, leaving him seething with frustration on Rick Hendrick‘s ace.

Dramatic clash at the playoff opener as Daniel Suarez speaks out


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With just 49 laps to go and both drivers running in the top 10, it seemed like their efforts were all for naught. It began with an aggressive block by Alex Bowman against Daniel Suarez, who was attempting to make a move, peeking out from behind the #48 Chevy, sending Bowman swerving down the track.

Suarez, undeterred, climbed up to pass on the outside. In retaliation, Bowman swiftly blocked Suarez again. With neither driver willing to back off the throttle, their fates were sealed as they collided, resulting in a multi-car crash that collected Harrison Burton’s #21 Ford, who had become a sitting duck of the duo’s shenanigans. It was a glaring DNF for the trio, and the bitter taste of disappointment lingered.


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Suarez didn’t hold back when asked about his take on the situation. He stated, “Well, like I told him, you know, you can block once, and he’s okay. You know, we give and take. I could have easily put him into the inside wall, and I didn’t do that because I’m not like that.

“But when I went to his outside, he blocked me again. I wasn’t going to leave the second time. I can give him a break once; I won’t give him a break twice. It’s not right, you know? He has to be smarter. He’s smarter than that. He just has 5 minutes of being a dummy, and he used it against the 99.”

Watch This Story: Daniel Suarez Remains Silent Despite Trackhouse Owner Justin Marks Reneging on His SVG Promise

When asked if there had been any communication between the two drivers in the infield car, Suarez replied, “No, I haven’t seen him.” As for the possibility of a post-race conversation, he added, “I hope not. Right now, I’m a little bit too heated. I hope I don’t see him in the next 15-20 minutes.”

History repeats itself. And it has for Alex Bowman. The tale takes us back to Martinsville in 2021 when the sword-bearer was none other than JGR ace, Denny Hamlin.

Bowman’s repeat offense at Martinsville 2021


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Bowman and Hamlin were in front of the pack when Bowman made a move that would seal his win, nudging the rear end of Hamlin’s car. It sent Hamlin spinning and crushing his hopes of victory. The latter was far from pleased and didn’t shy away from expressing his frustration.

Following the race, Bowman celebrated with a burnout, which took a bitter note as Bowman and Hamlin’s #11 faced off bumper to bumper in what could have escalated into an ultimate showdown. Fans braced themselves for the spectacle, but fortunately and unfortunately, cooler heads prevailed. Hamlin‘s crew chief, Chris Gabehart, reminded, 

“Big picture, big picture.” Hamlin didn’t hold back in his post-race comments, calling Bowman “just a hack, an absolute hack,” and adding, “He gets his a** kicked by his teammates every week. F***ing terrible.”


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As the smoke settles on ‘The Lady In Black,’ NASCAR has two more rounds to go before the playoffs 12 grid is decided. With that, our next stop: the Kansas Speedway.

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Written by:

Rashi Shetty


One take at a time

Rashi Shetty is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. Her passion for the sport extends beyond the thrill of on-track racing, as she finds the behind-the-scenes aspects of car development and sportsmanship equally captivating. Her favorite motorsports moment of 2023 is the NASCAR Garage 56 entry at Le Mans.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal