Byron exits 500 early: "No reason to be that aggressive"
William Byron will finish 40th (last place) in the 62nd running of the Daytona 500.
Byron, who won his Duel race Thursday and started the event from the outside of the second row, was the first driver to exit the race Monday after it was postponed due to rain.
The 22-year-old was making his third appearance in the Daytona 500, having also crashed out last year.
On Lap 58 of 200, he connected with the nose of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s machine, sending him spinning through the backstretch grass before slamming the inside wall. He became the first retirement from the race.
“Yeah, I don’t know," said Byron when asked what happened. "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. 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.”
After a promising SpeedWeeks, it was a disappointing end for the young driver as he continues his search for his first Cup Series win. His Hendrick teammate Chase Elliott went on to win Stage 1.
“It’s the ups and downs of racing," said Byron. "It goes up and down, and luckily, we got something points-wise out of this race or less we’d have one point. I guess we have 10 or 11 points going into Las Vegas. 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.”
Daytona 500 postponed to Monday due to persistent showers
Hamlin wins Daytona 500; Newman hospitalized after crash