NASCAR driver-turned-commentator Jeff Gordon said it was too early for the type of aggressive move that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pulled as Stage 1 of the Daytona 500 was coming to an end on Feb. 18. Ricky, who was running in second, pulled off some pretty skilled driving to hold his position that included him quickly going from the bottom to the top of the track.
Unfortunately, what happened behind Ricky can only be described as disastrous.
As drivers adjusted their speed to jockey for improved positions in the windows that Ricky created, there was a multi-car crash in lap 60 that immediately took seven drivers off the track.
As the dust settled, the carnage included rookie William Byron, Kyle Larson, Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Ty Dillon, and Daniel Suarez.
Fortunately, some of the drivers, including Kyle, Denny and William, were able to return to the track, but for other drivers, including veteran Jimmie, the day was done.
And while it’s hard to say where the blame should fall, Jimmie was certainly gracious when he shared his thoughts on the race-ending crash with FOX.
“There was some great racing throughout, but unfortunately, many thought that that was the black-and-white checkered flag, and not the green-and-white checkered flag,” he said. “Lap 59 to be throwing blocks and stuff like that, it’s led to a lot of wrecked racecars.”
Later, on Instagram, one of Jimmie’s fan pages posted a photo of the crash with a quote from the driver saying, “I”m not sure everybody was thinking big picture and really using their head.“
Congratulations to Kurt Bush, who was named the Stage 1 winner shortly after the chaos ensued.