Ricky Stenhouse has been absolutely vilified since the end of Saturday's race at Daytona.  And, not without some justification.

If it were the first time this year we'd seen Stenhouse step over the aggressive line, you could let a lot of it slide.  But, we saw the exact same thing from him in Daytona in February.

But, there are two points on which I'll defend Stenhouse.  First, he did stand there after the race and address the evening.  He also sounded genuinely remorseful in his apology.  But, I understand those also tend to ring hollow after the fact.

The other point is: this is what NASCAR has created.  By going to a playoff system where winning is rewarded with a spot in the playoffs, there are folks who knew that Daytona was their last best chance to guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs.  Ricky Stenhouse was one of those guys.  So, what did you expect him to do?  Be happy with a good finish or take his shot?

It's just unfortunate that he took a lot of other folks' shots with him.