Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Reflects on Whether He Would Change Anything in Kyle Busch Clash

“I was pretty fired up. I got my point across. It was taken very well in the garage and with a lot of the fans.“

by Sead Dedovic
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Reflects on Whether He Would Change Anything in Kyle Busch Clash
© David Jensen/Getty Images Sport

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Busch drew notable attention due to their clash after the 2024 NASCAR All-Star Race. Opinions on this conflict were divided, but the passion and animosity between the two excellent NASCAR drivers, who were both eager for success during the race, were noticeable. 

The statements from both drivers after the race were interesting, and it seemed they firmly stood by their views. 

Now, a few weeks later, Stenhouse Jr. reflected on this clash in an interview with The Athletic, discussing whether he would change anything in hindsight regarding his encounter with Busch. Ricky believes there was certainly room to do something different, but emotions and nerves were at their peak. There are some aspects he is satisfied with, but he acknowledges that the suspensions and fines are unfavorable for them. This great NASCAR driver feels that his team has earned respect, considering their reaction to the clash. Stenhouse Jr. holds the opinion that many believe he was wrecked without reason.

“I mean, you might do it somewhere else. But I was pretty fired up. I got my point across. It was taken very well in the garage and with a lot of the fans. Yeah, there’s the backside of it that comes along with the suspensions and fines and things that definitely suck. But on the other hand, I felt like we gained a lot of respect from a lot of the competitors and teams in here for really just standing (our) ground. They all felt like I got wrecked for no reason the same way we did.“-Stenhouse Jr. said, as quoted by On3.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. highlighted that he had mixed emotions at times. In one moment, he would remain calm, while in the next, his anger would resurface. He was particularly frustrated watching the replay of what happened, believing there were intentions from Busch's side. Stenhouse Jr. pointed out that if he could change something, he would change the location. Of course, it's too late to change anything now, as it is already part of the past, but this was a great lesson for both drivers.

“Sitting in the hauler for that whole race, I was really mad. And then I’d calm down and then I’d be mad again. I saw the replay of it a couple of times and looked at some data stuff and I got really fired up. Things happen when you get crashed on accident and it’s just a racing thing. But that was blatantly crashed. So if I do anything different, I would maybe choose a different location.”- he continued.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. reacts to the fine

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was fined $75,000 after the race, while his father, Ricky Sr., was suspended for life. Several other team members were also suspended for several weeks. The 36-year-old believes that the penalty was probably excessive, although he expected a significant fine. He appears most frustrated by the fact that he couldn't share his personal opinion about the race. There are many questions Ricky would like to ask NASCAR officials.

“I still haven’t gotten to really make my point yet to NASCAR. I did on the phone; we talked back and forth for three or four days. But I still haven’t sat down with them. And I’ve got a lot of questions.“- he said.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. stressed that he anticipated some form of penalty, such as suspensions or fines, following the incident. However, he expressed surprise that the penalties were as severe as they turned out to be, particularly regarding the length of suspensions for his crew members. Stenhouse also believed that some of Kyle Busch's crew members might have been similarly penalized. He mentioned having numerous questions about the situation that he would like to address with NASCAR officials and indicated he might provide further updates once he has more information.

Kyle Busch reacts to conflict with Stenhouse Jr.

Kyle Busch reacted to the penalty Ricky Stenhouse Jr. received a few weeks ago. It seemed that Busch was no longer interested in discussing the conflict, believing he needs to focus on upcoming races and the future. Busch stated that his opinion on the penalty is irrelevant since NASCAR makes such decisions.

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch© James Gilbert/Getty Images Sport

Busch also commented on the post-race fight, noting that things initially seemed fine but then escalated. Additionally, Busch mentioned that he gave extra room, and at the moment when he was dragging the fence, Stenhouse Jr. smashed into his door. This great NASCAR driver emphasized that he doesn't need such conflicts and is focused on competing with the top three drivers, ready to win races going forward.

Kyle Busch