Ricky Stenhouse Jr. says he’s still waiting to hear back from NASCAR with clarification on why he was penalized for going below the yellow line last Sunday in the Advance Auto Parts Clash.
“I think in the rule book it does say if you go below the yellow line and advance your position you’ll get black flagged or whatever the consequences were. But it also says if you force somebody below the yellow line that that car could be black flagged,” Stenhouse said Wednesday afternoon at Daytona 500 Media Day. “We asked NASCAR, and we haven’t heard back from them on that. Typical.”
On Lap 41, Stenhouse was called for a pass-through penalty when NASCAR officials declared he had overtaken Kyle Busch below the yellow line on the backstretch. There was no denying on Stenhouse’s part that he had gained the spot.
However, Roush Fenway Racing argued Stenhouse was forced below the yellow line by Busch, and Busch should have been the one penalized under the rule. Stenhouse finished 16th in the 17-car field.
“I guess the next time somebody gets to the inside of me I’ll force them below the yellow line, and then they’ll have to pit, and they’ll be in the same position that I was in,” continued Stenhouse. “If that’s the way they’re [NASCAR] going to call it, then I guess we’ll race that way, but we’ll see if they get back to use before we race [in the Duels] tomorrow.”
In the immediate aftermath of the race, Stenhouse also tweeted he would hold his position next time and wreck the field.
Next time I’ll turn him crash the 17 car field and then be the arca race cool https://t.co/6wIDgyEfWy
— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@StenhouseJr) February 11, 2018
If Stenhouse wanted to avoid a penalty, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said during a rash of tweets he sent that a driver needs to give the position back.
Correct. Always been the case. https://t.co/Lh4vO5WMPX
— Steve O’Donnell (@odsteve) February 11, 2018
“I think we all thought that in the rule if somebody forced you below there that they would be penalized and not yourself, so that’s what I had in mind when I went down there,” Stenhouse said. “They did say that you could give it back, but nobody told us to give it back until they told us that we were black flagged, so better communication would be nice.
“I’m still waiting to figure out how they’re going to call the Duels or the [Daytona] 500, so we can make our decision on how we want to go about things because it’s fairly easy to run somebody below the yellow if that’s how they’re going to call it. So, we’ll just see how it goes once we hear back from them, I guess.”