Brad Keselowski decries blocking after multicar crash at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Keselowski took blame -- sort of -- for an accident that collected a dozen cars and knocked seven of them out of the NASCAR Cup Series race Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.

The wreck occurred on Lap 54 of the race when Hendrick Motorsports rookie William Byron, the leader, blocked Keselowski, who lifted and then got tagged from behind by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney were knocked out of the race. None of them was injured.

"You've got a list of drivers that are making moves that they're unqualified to make and it causes big wrecks," Keselowski said. "That was one of those. And it was my fault because I lifted.

"I should have wrecked him and sent a message to the whole field. We'll wait until Talladega, and every one of those rookie drivers and guys that don't know what the hell they're doing, we'll drive through them and wreck them until they stop blocking us and we don't have this problem anymore."

Blocking is common on restrictor-plate tracks as drivers attempt to hold their position.

"It was a bad block," Keselowski said. "There's times you can make a block; there's times you can't.

"When you've got a guy behind you with a big enough run, you can't throw a block -- I made the mistake and lifted instead of wrecking him, and that's my fault."

Byron was knocked out of the race 11 laps later when he was tagged by Stenhouse. Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray and Corey LaJoie were also knocked out in that wreck.

After exiting the care center, Byron said he didn't feel he did anything egregious in the Keselowski accident.

"Everybody blocks as much as that, so I don't see any difference in it," Byron said. "He got hit from behind. ... I didn't get hit anywhere.

"If he would have hit me, I would have tried to move or save it."

Stenhouse, who finished 17th, was hard on himself for both accidents during a TV interview over his in-car radio following the second stage.

"We were going to have a run on the 24 [of Byron] on the inside, and the 2 [of Keselowski] had to check up [off the throttle]," Stenhouse said. "On the other one, I just tried to side-draft the 18 [of Kyle Busch] at the wrong place and got sucked into him and turned him around.

"It's crazy here. We're trying to get into the playoffs, gaining points and trying to put ourselves in position for the win. ... We tore up all of our other Ford teammates -- it didn't go as planned."

Kyle Busch wasn't too pleased with Stenhouse.

"Stenhouse, I don't know if he pushed up the track, it doesn't matter -- he got into our left rear quarter panel and wrecked us just after causing the big wreck just about five minutes earlier," Busch said.

"It's so disappointing for all our guys. ... All you ever do [at Daytona and Talladega] is count on where you're going to crash, how hard you're going to crash and pray that you're going to be able to walk away from it. It's the name of the game these days."

Stenhouse said following the race that he regretted causing crashes in the manner that he did. He said on the first crash, Byron did throw an aggressive block, but that happens.

"I thought he blocked [Keselowski], but I did that here in February -- I threw a block, an aggressive block down the back straightaway that, in turn, caused a big crash like that, too," Stenhouse said.

"I can see it from Byron's side. From my side I was a little frustrated that he threw the block, but then again, I can't be too mad because I felt like I did that in February."

Stenhouse entered the race on the outside of the playoff bubble and said he didn't feel he would need to do damage control with other drivers.

"It's aggressive speedway racing," Stenhouse said. "We needed to win to get in the playoffs, so it is what it is."