DAYTONA BEACH, Fla — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has been notorious for his aggressive driving style here in Daytona. Most drivers say that while Stenhouse has some big time talent on superspeedway’s, that he’s also a little too aggressive on them too.
Stenhouse, somewhat agrees with that assessment, but cites it was just the 2018 Coke Zero Sugar 400 that he was the culprit in crashing a lot of cars, not every time we race here.
Well, those pundits have more ammo now.
Stenhouse, the pole sitter for the two-day Daytona 500 which was postponed for the second time in the 62 year history of the event following a rainy day on Sunday, made contact with William Byron on the backstretch on Lap 58 of the 200 Lap event on Monday afternoon.
The contact, sent Byron for a wild ride down the Daytona Superstretch grass before hitting the inside wall in his No. 24 Chevrolet.
The crash meant Byron would finish last (40th) in the field which saw him now crash out now in three of his last four Daytona starts.
But, the incident Byron feels never should have happened.
“Obviously I got hit in the back bumper,” Byron said following his crash on Monday. “He was kind of moving when he hit me first which kind of pushed me left with him and then he hit me off center in the left rear and just turned me around. The first hit when he was sliding left on my bumper is what really moved my car left with him. I don’t know. It’s just unfortunate. I feel like there’s no really reason to be that aggressive moving across my bumper.”
There were high hopes for Byron this season as he made the playoffs for the first time of his career last season. The North Carolina native finished 2019 with five top seven finishes over the final 11 weeks. He had only four in the previous 51 starts of his Cup Series career.
Then, on Thursday night, Byron took his No. 24 Chevrolet to victory lane for the first time of his Cup career in a victory in his 150-mile qualifying race.