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Ryan Blaney says Ryan Preece 'had every right to retaliate' in Texas race

Ryan Blaney said Tuesday that Ryan Preece had “every right to retaliate” against him for a move late in last weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway but questioned the hit that sent him into the wall.

Blaney was 15th and Preece was 16th on Lap 180 of the 276-lap race before Preece’s contact sent Blaney into the wall. Blaney finished 33rd. Preece finished 12th.

NASCAR: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400
NASCAR: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400

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Blaney, speaking to reporters Tuesday, explained what led to him hitting the wall.

“TV didn’t show (that) I used him up pretty good in (Turns) 3 and 4,” Blaney said of Preece. “Kind of ran him up the racetrack. I ran him up more than I was planning on. I was planning on kind of taking some space, and I kind of ran him up more than I thought and kind of got him out of the groove. He was rightfully upset with that. I would have been, too.

“Then he got to me a lap later and got into me pretty good. In my mind, I deserved to get used up, for sure, for what I did. I was guilty as charged, but I don’t know if I deserved to get like junked for what I did.

“It was just one of those racing things. I know why he was upset. I used up a bunch of track and he was mad and he decided to retaliate. Like I said, he had every right to retaliate. I’m just like, ‘Man, you didn’t have to wreck me, like you can move me out of the way, just don’t wreck me.’ It’s just one of those things. Move on from it.”

AUTO: APR 14 NASCAR Cup Series AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400
AUTO: APR 14 NASCAR Cup Series AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400

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Asked if he didn’t see the contact as egregious as some other past retaliations in the sport, Blaney said:

“He had every right to get back at me. What I did was I run him up the racetrack pretty bad. Like I said, I didn’t blame him for wanting to move me out of the way. How hard he hit me was a little excessive maybe because he caused me to wreck, but, you know, I deserved to get moved in some way for what I did.

“TV didn’t show that I used him up first. So, it wasn’t just he just run me over. I used (him) up pretty big the lap before, so I don’t want it to get skewed to where, oh, Preece just wrecked me. No, (it) was deserving for him laying the bumper to me for after what I did.”