Keselowski sends message to Daytona field

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Brad Keselowski says he was sending a message by intentionally running into William Byron during practice Thursday for the upcoming Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway.

Keselowski was upset about Byron’s blocking a year ago at Daytona and retaliated during the second of two practice sessions Thursday.

Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet sustained enough damage that his team switched to a backup car before qualifying and will have to start at the rear of the field for Saturday night’s 400-mile race.

“I had a big run and put me in a position where I had to lift and I keep telling these guys I’m not lifting,” said Keselowski, the 2012 Cup Series champion. “I hate it for his team that they have to work on their car and so do ours, but just trying to send a message that I’m not lifting.”

Byron seemed to block Keselowski twice before the contact.