After inclement weather postponed the completion of the Daytona 500 to Monday, the race kicked back off with a scary scene involving William Byron. On the backstretch, Byron’s No. 24 car was struck by the front bumper of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. As a result, his car ended up spinning out and going directly to into the safety barrier.
Byron, who had won his Duel race Thursday, will now finish 40th, last place, due to the crash. It’s the second year in a row the 22-year-old saw his Daytona 500 race cut short due to an accident.
Speaking with reporters shortly afterward, Byron reiterated he didn’t know if it was intentional or not.
William Byron slides across the grass and into the wall. pic.twitter.com/ZISlUDLdru
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 17, 2020
“Obviously, I got hit in the back bumper. I saw a brief replay of it. He (Stenhouse) was kind of moving when he hit me first and so he pushed me left with him,” Byron explained. “And then he hit me in the center of the left rear and just turned me around. I think it was just enough. The first hit, when he was sliding left on my bumper, is what really moved my car left with him. So, I don’t know. It’s unfortunate. I feel like I don’t know. I feel like there’s really no reason to be that aggressive moving across my bumper, but it is what it is. We’ll go on to Vegas and go try to win that one.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took the blame for that accident with William Byron. He said he was going to block the run that Aric Almirola had coming on the inside, and “the 24 went with me.” #Daytona500
— Kelly Crandall (@KellyCrandall) February 17, 2020
Fans of Byron were none too pleased about the questionable maneuver by Stenhouse.
“Every damn 500 Byron gets screwed like this,” one user wrote on Twitter.
Another added, “100% on Stenhouse there. That was an ARCA level mistake oh my goodness. Hate it for the 24 fans.”
Byron will now set his sights on the next race on the calendar. Following the completion of the Daytona 500, Byron and the rest will head to Las Vegas to take on the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube.
“We’re going to have to rebound and rally there. I don’t know, I’m not really sure what I could have done differently,” Byron told reporters.