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Bowman vs Suarez: Who Was Really At Fault?

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Joshua Lipowski

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On Sunday night, a controversial block by Alex Bowman set off a crash involving himself and Daniel Suarez. People debated what it was that caused the crash, and whether or not it was the fault of Suarez or Bowman. Well, here is a look at the incident and what different people had to say.

Analyzing The Incident

From an objective viewpoint, Daniel Suarez got a run down the front stretch, but he was blocked by Bowman. Bowman followed Suarez back up the race track, and the two got together, causing the incident.

Now, at face value, it looks pretty obvious that Bowman threw two big blocks heading into turn one. It may seem like an overly aggressive move to some, but, this incident happened very late in the race. With 49 laps to go, there are no stage cautions scheduled, so, this may have been the last restart of the race.

With how difficult it is to pass at Darlington, track position truly is everything, and being able to either gain as many positions as possible or maintain as high of a position as possible are both important. As a result, aggression is understandable.

Bowman definitely deserves some of the blame because he is the one who made the blocks, and that is what turned him into the wall. Suarez maybe could have backed off, so, if any blame can be attributed to him, that may be the place to go. However, a NASCAR Hall of Famer has a unique take on the incident.

What Dale Earnhardt Jr. Had to Say

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that he puts about “75%” of the blame on Bowman, and one of the main reasons is because he felt the first block was unnecessary. Earnhardt Jr. notes that Darlington is not a one-groove track in the same way that it was in the past, and you can battle side by side into turn one better now than you could have been. He also theorized that the second “block” was not a block, but just Bowman trying to get back onto the racing line for the corner.

We saw the side-by-side racing times during the race on Sunday. Drivers were able to maintain position when they were side-by-side throughout the corners at Darlington, which was not always the case in the past. It also could be reasonable for Bowman trying to get back into the racing line to be true as the block did take him well onto the apron.

However, Earnhardt Jr. feels that Suarez could have gone about the incident in a way that did not wreck himself. Earnhardt Jr. notes that many veteran drivers have found ways to deal with these blocks in a way that did not wreck themselves, and he also rightfully notes that Suarez did not hit the wall as a result of the contact with Bowman, but the spin happened later.

Given that this opinion is coming from a former driver, this seems to be feasible. Suarez did not have to end up in the accident, and it seems there was an avenue somewhere for him to avoid it.

In the Stands

In response to the Dale Jr. clip, many people on NASCAR Reddit gave their own opinion on the incident. Many did not show agreement with him on his take on the incident.

BigChach567 says that Bowman still should have known Suarez was there, even if the second block was not intentional.

AgentofChaos17 wants ultimate chaos to happen by Justin Marks calling out Alex Bowman for the incident. He also disagrees with Dale Jr.’s take on the incident.

HospitalSelect5601 vehemently disagrees with Dale Jr, which seems to be a rare incident.

reedspacer38 vehemently disagrees with Dale Jr.

RestlessInferno brings up an incident from a lap before to illustrate why he thinks Dale Jr. is wrong.

roastbeefyaweefy says that this was a sponsored segment.

No-Efficiency1918 says this is a rare instance where Dale Jr. is wrong.

Trentpd said that he agrees with Dale Jr.

SwoleSherpa says that Jr.s take is “plausible”.

It seems the general consensus is that Bowman was at fault. However, those who believe that Dale Jr.’s take is true may not be so popular on Reddit.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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