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Massive crash forces multiple teams to back-up cars for Daytona 500

Ryan Blaney has been bit by this kind of crash three times in a row at Daytona

NASCAR: Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at Daytona
Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Blaney was sent hard into the tri-oval wall on Lap 48 in the second Daytona 500 qualifying race as nearly a dozen cars were involved in an expensive crash that will force numerous teams to their backup cars.

It also left the reigning champion furious that he has been crashed in similar fashion at Daytona three times in a row.

This time, Blaney was running fifth when he went to move up to pass William Byron on the outside. Byron blocked him high but that stalled his momentum to where Kyle Busch got a run and drove into the back of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24.

Byron got turned into the right rear of the Team Penske No. 12 and Blaney went nose first into the outside retaining wall.

“It comes from awful pushes by people,” Blaney said. “I mean, three times here in a row awful pushes have led me to getting right-reared and it’s just guys not being smart, not knowing when to get off somebody.

“You cannot push in the corner that hard in the tri-oval. I don’t know when guys are going to get it. I’m sick of paying the expense of it and getting right-reared from someone’s dumb push, so it’s just frustrating because we do everything right and then you have guys who are just careless and just shove guys until they don’t know when to let them go and it causes wrecks and I seem to be the byproduct of getting hooked in the right-rear which is never fun.”

But really, the crash was more the byproduct of the Byron block and then the run it allowed Busch to have and being unable to lift appropriately because he had Brad Keselowski pushing him from behind.

It was a classic Daytona stack up.

“I just got choked up and lost momentum,” Byron said. “By time he got to me, I was going quite a bit slower than him. Just one of those deals.”

Busch echoed that sentiment too.

“(Byron) lost momentum,” Busch said. “I’m seeing that, lifting out of the gas and trying to not hit the 24 and I’m getting a bump from behind from the 6 as well because he can’t see through me what’s going on.

“I hit the 24 in the tri-oval where you’re not supposed to, spun him out and caused a wreck. An accordion type deal. It happens that way.”

Busch says he doesn’t blame Keselowski and it’s just the nature of superspeedway racing.

“Better spotter communication, I guess from the 6, ‘check up, check up, check up,’ or whatever the code is but it has to be quick.”

Riley Herbst, racing in a one off for Rick Ware Racing, just wishes in hindsight that he had bailed to the rear before that even happened.

“I’m just really frustrated with myself for my lack of judgment,” Herbst said. “We had no shot to win the race after I didn’t have a really good green flag stop at all. I got shuffled there and I should have understood the bigger picture and been better aware to bail at that point.

“We had a good start to the run. It was fun to run with Noah (Gragson) and really fun to lead laps in the Cup Series again. It continues to build my confidence and continues to build my respect in this garage, but hindsight is 20/20 and I should have bailed immediately after the green flag stop and just rode to see Sunday.”

For his part, Blaney doesn’t want to talk about it and doesn’t plan to share his thoughts with other drivers.

“I don’t care,” he said.

He did see the replay before his media availability though.

“It looked like (Busch) shoved (Byron),” Blaney said. “It looked like (Busch) was trying to lift but I don’t know. I could put the blame on somebody. That’s for damn sure.”

How is he?

“I’m pissed,” Blaney said. “I’m pissed. I’m sick and tired of being right reared here by someone’s awful push. I’m pissed that we’re going to a backup car when we did nothing wrong and now we have two days to get a backup car ready. I’m pissed and I have every right to be pissed.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter. 

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