NASCAR

Daytona practice features early crash

NASCAR Sprint Unlimited drivers crashed early at Daytona
NASCAR Sprint Unlimited drivers crashed early at Daytona
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Lee Spencer

Lee Spencer is the Senior NASCAR Writer for FOXSports.com. She has provided award-winning coverage of auto racing over the last 15 years. Spencer has lent her expertise to both television and radio and is a regular contributor to SiriusXM Radio and the Performance Racing Network. Follow her on Twitter.

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.

The wrecking began at Daytona International Speedway on Friday not even 10 minutes into opening practice for the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited.

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A multi-car accident was triggered by Matt Kenseth coming down on Kurt Busch coming out of Turn 4 and collected Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Martin and Carl Edwards.

“I guess Kurt (Busch) got a run underneath me when I was just kind of messing around there," Kenseth said. "I came down in front of him as he was getting a big run. I just never saw him. I was focused on the 18 (Kyle Busch) in front of me and nobody was getting very big runs at all. I was just looking at the 18 and trying to do some different things and think about my car. Nobody had really made a serious run on us before that so I just had no idea he was there.”

Edwards had no time to react.

“I didn’t see anything. I should have been listening to my spotter Jason Hedleski because he said, ‘Watch ‘em, watch ‘em’ about two seconds before this happened," Edwards said. "I have the best spotter in the business in Jason and I just didn’t step on the brakes early enough. I don’t know exactly and Matt probably had no clue that (Kurt Busch) was underneath him. That one little beat and I hit Mark and I thought I was clear and you will see (Busch) in front of me and he was sideways into the wall. It is pretty frustrating. The silver lining for us is that last year we came down here and we sat on the pole for the 500 and everything was cool and smooth and our year went terrible. Hopefully this is all our bad luck.”

Edwards, Martin and Busch are going to backup cars while Earnhardt Ganassi Racing is repairing Montoya's car.

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"It is very hard for these guys to get race cars built," Edwards said. "I feel like we have the best fab guys in the business. They work hard and put out a lot of cars that are really nice. They have already been down here and said that they can fix it and make this car like it was. (Crew chief) Jimmy (Fennig) said not to worry about it and that we have the backup car, so we are going to bring that over and send this one back to Charlotte and they will get it ready to be a backup. I feel bad for my guys. They put so much work into these cars for me to wreck them in practice.”

This was the first time multiple cars raced in a pack at Daytona since a January test session when a 12-car wreck started after just one lap of practice. That tangle of sheet metal was triggered when Dale Earnhardt Jr. got into the back of Marcos Ambrose.

Busch was seen and released from the infield care center. Final practice is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET.

The Sprint Unlimited airs at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday on FOX.

Tagged: Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Juan Pablo Montoya, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin

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