Jeff Gordon crashes with Clint Bowyer (15) at Phoenix.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who wrapped up his second consecutive Nationwide Series title the previous day, didn't fare as well in the Sprint Cup race as he hit the wall at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson's championship dream took a frustrating hit when he crashed at Phoenix. With one race to go, he was 20 points behind Brad Keselowski - and went on to end up third in the standings.
Danica Patrick rolls over the car of Paul Menard on the closing lap at Phoenix. Patrick spun and hit the wall, then was still on the track trying to stay out of the way to spark a major pileup as drivers raced to the finish line.
Out of control.
Clint Bowyer (15) and Jeff Gordon (24) battle to control their cars as they crash at Phoenix. The crash sparked a crew fight in the garage.
Clint Bowyer (15) and Jeff Gordon (24) crash as Gordon strikes back at Bowyer for an earlier incident in the Phoenix race.
Debris is sent flying as AJ Allmendinger (51) slides through the infield after colliding with Carl Edwards, rear, during the November race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kurt Busch spins in his Furniture Row Racing car to cause one of the race's many caution periods at Martinsville Speedway.
Juan Pablo Montoya (42) was enjoying a top-10 run at Martinsville Speedway for a while, but he fell off the pace and was getting lapped by Jimmie Johnson when contact led to this spin.
Trevor Bayne (21) passes Jimmie Johnson (48) as Johnson hits the wall during the Kansas race. Johnson led early, then rallied from this setback to leave the track still seven points behind Brad Keselowski in the championship race at the time.
Kyle Busch (18) hits the wall while Brad Keselowski (2), Ryan Newman (39), Sam Hornish Jr. (22) and Kurt Busch (78) tangle trying to avoid the crash at Kansas Speedway. Busch brought out one of the race's record 14 caution periods.
Tony Stewart (14) flips while several drivers begin to pile up in a massive wreck on the final lap at Talladega in October.
What a view ....
The crashing cars of Sam Hornish Jr. (22), Aric Almirola (43) and Casey Mears slide across the track as Tony Stewart's flipping car is hit by Kasey Kahne and rolls into the car of Paul Menard at Talladega.
End of the run
Jimmie Johnson's car shows the damage from the final-lap crash at 'Dega.
Tony Stewart (14) along with Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) and Kasey Kahne (5) got caught up in a last-lap crash at Talladega.
Race leader Tony Stewart (14) flips as other cars pile into one another in a massive final-lap crash at Talladega.
Tony Stewart (14) flips in the air after an incident that pulled in 25 total drivers on the final lap of the October NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Bobby Labonte (47) crosses the finish line on fire at Talladega.
The Hendrick Motorsports crew works on the car of Jeff Gordon after his crash during the Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
David Ragan spins on the frontstretch during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway in September.
Jamie McMurray found that out the hard way, as his run-in with the wall late in the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway set up the final dash for the finish line. But as painful as that was for No. 1, that was nothing compared to the damage done to . . .
Jimmie Johnson's wreck may not have damaged his Chase hopes much, but the same cannot be said for Ryan Newman. The driver of the No. 39 wrecked out the second race in a row at Atlanta and was then in a win-or-bust mode at Richmond - where he failed to make the Chase.
How it went down
Here is the collision that sent Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman to the garage . . . and ended Newman’s hopes for a Chase spot.
Couldn't stay away
Matt Kenseth (17) takes out Tony Stewart and himself in a crash during the IRWIN Tools Night Race, a move that enfuriated Stewart.
No avoiding it
Jeff Burton (31) runs into Ryan Newman (39) after Newman crashed during the August Saturday night Sprint Cup race in Bristol.
Bobby Labonte slides around Turn 4 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400 auto race at Michigan International Speedway on Aug, 19.
Bobby Labonte spins after contact with Juan Pablo Montoya right in front of leader Mark Martin during the race at Michigan International Speedway.
Get a grip
Boris Said's No. 32 HendrickCars.com Ford spins out in Turn 1 on the ninth lap of the Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen. Said, who slid off the track, had made contact with David Ragan.
Jamie McMurray's damaged car sits in the garage area early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.
Out of control
Clint Bowyer (center) spins between Landon Cassill (83) and David Ragan (34) early in the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but recovered quickly from the setback.
Not only is Matt Kenseth forced to leave the race after his car catches fire in the Brickyard 400, but he also loses the Sprint Cup points lead to Dale Earnhardt Jr. as a result of the incident at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kasey Kahne (5), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88), Travis Kvapil (93), Jeff Gordon (24), Kevin Harvick (29), Kyle Busch (18), Jamie McMurray (1) and Terry Labonte (32) crash on the frontstretch on the last lap of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
Run from it
Tony Stewart streaks toward the finish line as Kevin Harvick (29), Kyle Busch (18), Terry Labonte (32) and others begin to spin on the frontstretch on the final lap at Daytona.
Joey Logano (20), Jeff Gordon (24), Bill Elliott (50) and Regan Smith (78) crash onto the grass at Daytona.
What a wreck
Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56), Juan Pablo Montoya (42) and Denny Hamlin (11) are the biggest names in this pile-up in Turn 1 on Lap 153 on a hot July night in Daytona.
Clint Bowyer gets tangled up in a multicar pileup at the end of the Coke Zero 400. Bowyer finished 29th.
Take it for a spin
Jimmie Johnson spins out after hitting the wall in Turn 4 during the Coke Zero 400. Johnson finished 36th during the wreck-filled race.
Michael Waltrip (55), Tony Stewart (14) and Juan Pablo Montoya (42) drive past Denny Hamlin (11) as he comes down on the track apron during the Coke Zero 400.
The hood on Jimmie Johnson's car covers his windshield after he hit the wall during a Turn 4 accident at Daytona. Johnson finished 36th.
Joey Logano (20) makes contact with Clint Bowyer (15) and nearly crashes as Ryan Newman drives past at Daytona. Both Logano and Bowyer would struggle to recover from the damage, though both saved their cars from crashing out of the race in the incident.
Smoke those tires
Kyle Busch (18) and Paul Menard (27) battle for control during an incident in the final laps of the race. Getty Images for NASCARRobert Laberge
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) and Regan Smith (78) spin off course in the closing laps of the race. Getty Images for NASCARRobert Laberge
Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, is in the middle of the action during an incident in the final laps of the 2012 Daytona 500.
Denny Hamlin is pulled from his burning car by crew members of Greg Biffle's team after his car was engulfed in fire during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin hits the infield in Turn 4 at Michigan International Speedway.
Where there's smoke
Reed Sorenson spins into the wall in the Pocono 400. Getty Images for NASCARTodd Warshaw
Out of commission
Landon Cassill, driver of the No. 83 Burger King - Real Fruit Smoothies Toyota, hits the wall after being involved in an on-track incident, as David Reutimann drives by at Pocono. Getty Images for NASCARTodd Warshaw
AJ Allmendinger (No. 22) spins into the grass as Landon Cassill (No. 83) spins into Jimmie Johnson (No. 48) and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56) at Pocono. Getty Images for NASCARTodd Warshaw
Worse for the wear
Landon Cassill drives back to the garage after a crash during the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.
Safety crews tend to the No. 32 Herr Foods/Hero Energy Shot Ford driven by Reed Sorenson after he was involved in an on-track incident at Pocono. Getty ImagesDrew Hallowell
'Dinger gets dinged up
AJ Allmendinger (No. 22) spins and crashes during the Pocono 400. Allmendinger finished 31st.
Safety crews clean up after a multi-car accident early in the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.
Scott Speed crashes with Stephen Leicht, Joe Nemechek and Landon Cassill at Dover International Speedway.
Tony Stewart, Regan Smith, Landon Cassill and other drivers gets tangled up in an early race incident at Dover.
Crew members push Juan Pablo Montoya's car into the garage area after an incident early in the race at Dover International Speedway.
And so it begins
Drivers David Blaney, Juan Pablo Montoya, Carl Edwards, Landon Cassill, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. wreck in a multi-car crash at Talladega Superspeedway.
Drivers David Blaney, Juan Pablo Montoya, Carl Edwards, Landon Cassill, Martin Truex Jr., and Joey Logano are involved in a crash in Turn 3 at Talladega.
In the wall
Drivers Landon Cassill and Carl Edwards get tangled up in a multi-car wreck at Talladega in May.
Clint Bowyer (15), Jeff Gordon (24) and Jimmie Johnson (48) get sideways battling for the win at Martinsville Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson (48) and Jeff Gordon (24) appeared to be battling for the right to give Hendrick Motorsports its 200th career NASCAR Cup win when the race ran into extra laps Sunday. On a green-white-checker attempt restart, Clint Bowyer stormed inside the pair - with poor results for all three at Martinsville Speedway.
Jeff Gordon slides after an incident as Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman pass him at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Jeff Gordon sits on the apron after a crash at Bristol.
Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick get into it in Bristol.
Kasey Kahne and Marcos Ambrose sit on the track in Bristol after connecting during an incident.
Rough and red
Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose get tangled up in Bristol.
Kasey Kahne gets sideways as Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski avoid him in Bristol.
Brendan Gaughan skids into the wall as Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards avoid the crash in Phoenix.
Paul Menard spins out during the Subway Fresh Fit 500.
Up in smoke
Driver Casey Mears crashes during the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix.
Not his best finish
Juan Pablo Montoya walks away from the bizarre crash unhurt. His No. 42 Target Chevrolet, however, would have to be hauled away after he had a parts failure and crashed into a jet dryer during a caution period in the Daytona 500.
A jet dryer bursts into flames after being hit by Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet during a caution period in the Daytona 500.
Fighting the flames
NASCAR safety crews work to put out a fire after a jet dryer was hit by driver Juan Pablo Montoya's No. 42 car during the Daytona 500.
Not long after the green-flag restart with 35 laps to go, there were more cautions, including after this incident in which Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 6 Ford EcoBoost Ford, spun.
Not J.J.'s day
Drivers try to avoid Jimmie Johnson (No. 48) as he crashes during a rare Monday night Daytona 500. The five-time champion wasn't able to re-enter the race.
Jeff Gordon (No. 24) hits the wall Monday during the Daytona 500. Gordon's engine gave out, and the six-time Daytona winner was unable to re-enter the race.
Trevor Bayne (21), Danica Patrick (10), David Ragan (34) and Kurt Busch (51) crash on Lap 2.
Drivers crash in the second lap of the Daytona 500 after Jimmie Johnson's car gets loose.
What a mess
Danica Patrick bounces off the inside wall on the backstretch during race one of the Gatorade Duel. Patrick was later released by the infield care center.
David Gilliland, Juan Montoya and Paul Menard crash in Turn 1 during their Gatorade Duel.
Multiple cars pile up as smoke fills the air at Daytona.
That was fast
Paul Menard (27), David Ragan (34), Michael Waltrip (55) and Matt Kenseth wreck coming out of Turn 1 just nine laps into the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.
Paul Menard (27), David Ragan (34) and Michael Waltrip (55) wreck coming out of Turn 1 in a chaotic Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. This initial crash came just nine laps into the non-points race.
Nowhere to go
Jeff Gordon (24) shoots through the crash virtually unscathed as cars spin and tag one another all around him during the opening laps of the Budweiser Shootout.
Jeff Gordon (left) slides into the wall as he wrecks with Kurt Busch (second from left), Jimmie Johnson (48) and other drivers during the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout. Things only got worse for Gordon from here.
Real trouble developing
Kyle Busch (18) slides sideways as he is hit by Jeff Gordon (24) in front of a pack of cars late in the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout. The pair had been fighting for the lead and were in position to challenge for the win with less than two laps to go when the crash ended their night.
Jeff Gordon's car slides into those of Jimmie Johnson (48) and Kurt Busch, going over onto its side in the Budweiser Shootout.
Jeff Gordon's car goes onto its side and into the wall as he is hit by teammate Jimmie Johnson (48) after shooting across the track and into traffic late in the Budweiser Shootout.
Out of control
Jeff Gordon's car ends up on its side during a crash in the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout as several cars collide with less than two laps to go in the non-points race.
Jeff Gordon's car (right) slides on its side as the demolished car of Kurt Busch slams into it during the closing laps of the Budweiser Shootout.
The heavily damaged cars of Jeff Gordon (right) and Kurt Busch separate after hard contact late in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona.
After sliding back across the track, Jeff Gordon's car (24) flips and begins to roll down the Daytona track.
Mayhem ensues as Jeff Gordon's car begins to flip while the heavily damaged cars of Kurt Busch (left) and Jimmie Johnson slip by.
Jeff Gordon's car flips after colliding with Kurt Busch as Jimmie Johnson drives behind Busch in a scary crash during the Budweiser Shootout.
Jeff Gordon's car rolls down the track at Daytona International Speedway after a dramatic crash in the final laps of the race.
Jeff Gordon must have felt like the crash would never end as his car rolled down the track. He walked away from the incident.
Kurt Busch (51) spins his Tag Heuer Avant-Garde Chevrolet after being bumped by Tony Stewart (14) during practice at Daytona, forcing Busch into a backup car. During the prerace media session, Busch stressed how important it is for him to take care of his equipment because his under-funded Phoenix Racing team doesn’t have a fleet of cars to fall back on.
Kurt Busch (51) spins out, causing Tony Stewart (14) and part of the field to pile up during practice for the Budweiser Shootout in Daytona Beach, Fla.
About 45 minutes into the season-opening practice session, six cars were involved in a crash, including Kurt Busch (51), Tony Stewart (14), Brad Keselowski (2) and A.J. Allmendinger (22).