Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took a lot of heat over the weekend for his involvement in two wrecks during the second stage of Saturday’s Cup race at Daytona International Speedway.
Some put the blame at his feet for a 26-car crash on Lap 54 that began when the second-place car of Brad Keselowski had to slow due to a block from race leader William Byron and was turned by Stennouse, causing a chain reaction.
Ten laps later, Stenhouse was attempting to side draft Kyle Busch‘s left-rear quarter panel, but contact between the two sent Busch into the wall. The incident collected Byron and five other drivers.
On NASCAR America, Parker Kligerman and Dale Jarrett discussed the wrecks and whether the Roush Fenway Racing driver was too aggressive.
“The first one, I’ll give him a pass,” Jarrett said. “That’s happening at high speeds and things are happening very quickly there. Certainly, getting over to Kyle Busch when they’re sitting there running second and third, most of the field and a lot of the competitors you were going to have to outrun have been eliminated in a huge wreck previous to this. There’s no reason to be pushing the issue. You can be aggressive, just be a little bit smart along the way.”
Said Kligerman: “Think about where he’s at, in his career and with that organization, Roush Fenway Racing. This is a once very prominent, very well-respected organization that’s struggled for the last couple of years. Their best chance of making the playoffs, the postseason, everything that matters for these organizations and what they sell to sponsors is this one race, right?
“He has the weight of that entire organization on his shoulders. He’s won there before, his confidence is high. He’s going to go in there with aggression. I just feel like there was a lot of fans out there that were falsely accusing him, one, of the first wreck, which I agree with DJ. I don’t think that’s entirely on him at all. The second one, yes. That was overly aggressive, was an odd place to be side drafting.”
Watch the above video for more.