Daniel Suárez, the driver of the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Camaro ran into on of his pit crew during the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on Sunday sending the crew member flying into Noah Gragson’s No. 16 Camaro.
As you can see in the video shared by Suárez to his Twitter, he overdrives his pit box and runs right into his tire changer. The tire changer tries to avoid the nose of the car, but the impact from the Camaro sends him flying into the pit lane where he nearly collides with Noah Gragson’s car.
Not only was the tire changer hit, but he was knocked into the tire carrier who was also pushed into the pit lane, where he too almost made contact with Gragson’s vehicle.
Suárez admitted the mistake was his, writing, “If there was every any doubt, pit crews are true athletes.”
“It’s the worst feeling knowing I could have really hurt one of my guys, thankfully it didn’t come to that! Came in too hot & misjudged my stall, Cory, Jeremy, Josh, Milan & Jerick handled it like pros. Sorry again boys.”
If there was ever any doubt, pit crews are true athletes. It’s the worst feeling knowing I could have really hurt one of my guys, thankfully it didn’t come to that! Came in too hot & misjudged my stall, but Cory Jeremy Josh Milan & Jerick handled it like pros. Sorry again boys🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/HhXS7Z51or
— Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) August 15, 2022
Not only would Suárez highlight the athletic abilities of his crew, but Bozi Tatarevic also pointed out the fact that the tire changer, Jeremy, was able to hold on to both tires and kept them from potentially endangering others on the pit lane.
He wrote, “These are the moments that fans don’t often get to see but they show the intensity of pit road and how pros respond in a high stakes environment.”
“The first thing that has to be recognized is how Jeremy is able to hold onto 100 pounds of wheels and tires after getting bounced,” he added.
These are the moments that fans don’t often get to see but they show the intensity of pit road and how pros respond in a high stakes environment.
The first thing that has to be recognized is how Jeremy is able to hold onto 100 pounds of wheels and tires after getting bounced. https://t.co/yQBBIfBAFc
— Bozi Tatarevic (@BoziTatarevic) August 15, 2022
Tatarevic continued to highlight the incident, giving credit to Gragson for his situational awareness.
He tweeted, “Situational awareness is everything and it’s what shows a true professional in this type of environment whether you’re changing tires or behind the wheel so credit to see Noah Gragson or being aware and stopping so quickly when everything unfolded in front of him.”
Next, he pointed out how quickly they recovered from Suárez‘s mistake.
“These dudes were basically human pinballs at 3 second mark of the video but by the time it gets to the 8 second mark they’ve already done a full reset and are about to swap a fresh set of tires,” he tweeted. “Things happen and you just have to keep digging.”
He then recognized the difficulty of the pit stall, “The details of pit road are often not easily translated to TV but every pit stall is different and having this location is tough because the driver has so little distance to stop after entry.”
Finally, he concluded, “This is also why team chemistry is important because everyone makes mistakes whether that’s the driver or the pit crew but being genuine about it like Daniel Suárez is what makes a crew member want to come back and keep doing this over and over again even with risks like this.”
Suárez ended up finishing a disappointing 19th behind his teammate Ross Chastain. He currently sits 13th in the points, 308 points behind leader Chase Elliot.
At this point he’s locked into the playoffs due to his win at Sonoma earlier this year. However, he might have his work cut out for him once the playoffs begin at Darlington following races at Watkins Glen and Daytona, since he’s only accumulated seven playoffs points.
But Watkins Glen might be an opportunity to rack up some more given he won at Sonoma and he earned a stage victory at Circuit of the Americas this year.