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William Byron on Ryan Blaney incident: ‘I hate that this happened’

In the middle of Phase 2, Ryan Blaney ended up in the wall on a restart, at least from Blaney’s perspective thanks to William Byron. Byron wasn’t trying to cause an incident, but sometimes you can’t avoid it in NASCAR.

Caution breeds caution, as the saying goes. John Hunter Nemechek retired with 62 laps to go on the second stage. That set up a restart that saw Ryan Blaney move into an excellent position. Then William Byron missed three times.

Byron was on bottom, Martin Truex Jr. was in the middle and Blaney was on top. Blaney felt like he was being trapped down by the 24, which put the 19 on the track.

Since William Byron could soon be Ryan Blaney’s brother-in-law, this is a juicy incident all around.

“I felt like I was ahead of them and it’s really tight at the exit,” Byron explained after the race. via Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports. “I hate it when I get up a bit, but I was surprised that I was in this position. You know, I felt like I was never going to get to the end of the three-wide boundary there.

“The track was kind of there, and my car was turning really well, and I almost passed Martin, and then, uh, I hate that that happened. I don’t want to crash, especially not so early in the race. I didn’t expect that to happen, but I probably could have left a little more leeway, and I don’t know, it’s going to be really, really tight.”