Hendrick: Byron had to "stand his ground" in Watkins Glen Busch clash

Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick says William Byron had to "stand his ground" in his NASCAR Cup Series clash with Kyle Busch at Watkins Glen

Hendrick: Byron had to "stand his ground" in Watkins Glen Busch clash

Busch had started the race in third and ran alongside Bryon for second at Turn 1 before spinning out as the pair battled, seemingly without contact.

The two then had another coming together at the Outer Loop bend when Busch pushed Byron from behind onto the grass, leading the Hendrick driver's crew chief Chad Knaus to take to the radio to say: "If I see that #18 [Busch] come back around again without you knocking the [expletive] out of him, we're going to have a problem."

The continual clashes then ended when Byron hit Busch under a stage-ending caution that damaged the front end of the Hendrick Chevrolet Camaro.

Hendrick said: "I think you have to stand your ground in this sport. If you let people push you around, they're going to push you around.

"He's running up the front, so I think this was his eighth front‑row start, and he's learning.

"People don't cut him any slack because he's a rookie, then he needs to let them know he'll come back."

Hendrick admitted that the retaliation had cost Byron a strong result after the Hendrick driver placed 21st and some 10 places down on Busch.

"I think probably in hindsight he would not [have] messed with Kyle and would have had a chance to have a really good finish with a good car," added Hendrick.

Byron's crew chief Knaus joined the #24 team's roster for 2019 after 17 seasons with seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Knaus is steering Byron's second Cup season, with the Hendrick driver a latecomer to motorsport after early success in iRacing led to a real-world car racing switch for 2012.

When Hendrick was asked for his take on Knaus's radio message to Byron, Hendrick added: "I didn't know that until someone told me that [it happened] coming in here.

"He got the worst end of the deal when Kyle brake-checked him and knocked the front end out of the car.

"But sometimes in the heat of the battle you want to do things, and if you thought about it a little bit more maybe you'd just settle down and go finish the race.

"But in the heat of battle, and I didn't know Chad told him to, but if I'd had a radio I'd probably tell him the same thing."

Kyle Busch was also involved with an on track incident with Bubba Wallace.

After the pair clashed side by side on the start/finish straight, Wallace clipped the rear left of Busch's Joe Gibbs Toyota spinning him off the track, with cheers from the fans audible at that moment.

Wallace said: "I'm going to get my respect on the track, and I don't care who it is,"

"That's for when guys fail to think about the young guys, I guess, or with me.

"I won't put up with no shit. So I flat out wrecked his ass back.

"I guess we're even, we'll see."

Busch did not have an official NASCAR media session with print journalists following the race.

shares
comments
Watkins Glen NASCAR Cup: Elliott resists Truex for second 2019 win

Previous article

Watkins Glen NASCAR Cup: Elliott resists Truex for second 2019 win

Next article

Johnson hits out at Blaney for Watkins Glen NASCAR Cup clash

Johnson hits out at Blaney for Watkins Glen NASCAR Cup clash
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021