Drivers comment after leaders crash at the front of the field and collect 18 cars
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Daytona International Speedway was a race originally scheduled for Saturday night. Rain and lightning postponed the race to Sunday afternoon.
Watch the 2019 Daytona crash video below.
By stage three, rain and lightning were on the horizon again. At the conclusion of stage two, a race can be declared official. There was a long way to go in the race but the intensity picked up as the race could end at any moment.
At the front of the field, Clint Bowyer pushed Austin Dillon clear to the lead. As they went off into turn one, Bowyer left his bumper and cut to the bottom.
Dillon was already moving left at this point. Bowyer clipped his rear bumper with the abrupt turn. Dillon then continued to come down across the nose of Clint Bowyer.
The leaders were wrecked in front of the entire field. Both of them shot across the track and left the field with nowhere to
Big crashes aren’t totally uncommon at superspeedway races. However, when it starts at the front of the field as they head into a corner, it’s usually bigger than most.
18 cars were involved in the Daytona crash: Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Chris Buescher, Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace, Ryan Preece, Alex Bowman, Matt DiBenedetto and Parker Kligerman.
Hear from the drivers involved below:
Clint Bowyer on the crash with Austin Dillon
“I guess he didn’t want me to pass him,” Bowyer said of Dillon shortly after the crash. “I don’t know. I got under him and he blocked, and we got together, I got off of him — moved down and got off of him — and here he comes back down even more and just finally wrecked us all.
Bowyer later offered more thoughts:
“What do you do? That was terrible,” Clint Bowyer told Claire B Lang after the race.
“That wasn’t even close. You know what I mean? When we got together, I pulled off of him to give him some room.”
“Then, he just never quit coming down and wrecked us all.”
“It’s just part of the racing. You want to blame him. If it would have been anybody else there, they probably would have done the same thing.”
“We had a fast hot rod and was going for the lead. That’s the nature of this kind of racing. It sucks, you want to be pissed off, frustrated and blame somebody. But, at the end of the day, it’s just part of racing.”
Austin Dillon on the Daytona crash
“Rain was coming, lighting was coming and my guys kinda had me amp’d up there,” Austin Dillon said after the crash.
“I had a super fast car. When we were out front, I didn’t think anybody could get to us. I truthfully thought me and him [Chase Elliott] would both get clear and then come back down.”
Dillon refereed to an earlier push from Chase Elliott.
“When I got up there and the #14 was behind me, that wasn’t where I wanted to be. I cleared the #11 and I was going to come left. I didn’t want to stay up there. I wanted to go down with the Chevy’s. I hate that took out Chase.”
“I was kinda pointed left, then he hit me in the left rear and it headed me down the track. I kept turning left hoping that it would eventually unlock or get off the back bumper.”
“It didn’t turn out that way. I’ll take some of the blame for that. I was aggressive. I want to win and get in the playoffs.”
“I feel like he kinda could have given me a little bit of room after the first one. But, he’s doing the same thing, he’s trying to get the lead.”
“I didn’t think he was that far there when I turned left. I didn’t know enough information,” Dillon refers to spotter info.
This crash brought out the red flag. Then, the lightning came to bring out another red flag. An hour later, the rain came and eventually the race wall called. Justin Haley picked up his first career win.