The first big Daytona 500 crash occurred at the start of Wednesday’s second practice at Daytona International Speedway after Ty Dillon’s No. 95 Chevrolet began spewing oil.
Behind Dillon, Reed Sorenson checked up in Turn 2, and when he did, Michael Waltrip ran into the back of Ryan Newman, who was behind Sorenson. David Gilliland, Kyle Larson and Chris Buescher were also involved.
“The oil cooler cracked. I really hate it for those guys behind us,” said Dillon. “It’s just one of those weird situations. I hate that it tore up race cars. I couldn’t do anything to make it any different. We were just getting the pack going. It was unfortunate for everybody involved. I hate it for our guys that our race car is torn up. It’s just as simple as a cracked weld on an oil cooler.”
“You’re going so fast and it happens so quickly that I didn’t have a chance not to bump into Ryan, and I’m glad he didn’t hit anything, and unfortunately I did,” said Waltrip. “I had it cranked to the left trying to keep it off the outside wall, but that didn’t happen.”
Newman said there was nothing he could do to avoid calamity.
“I saw the oil up ahead and I started checking-up,” said Newman. “It’s amazing how quick the oil spreads out as it sprays out, and it was like ice out there. I tried to keep it (the car) off the wall and even when I got back on the racetrack it was slick and we just kind of bounced off the wall in the Caterpillar Chevrolet.”
When the practice resumed, Jimmie Johnson hit oil in Turn 2, bringing out a second caution period and prompting a lengthy delay as track workers put Speedy Dry down in Turns 1 and 2.
NASCAR extended the practice by five minutes, and when it concluded, Brian Scott’s Richard Petty Motorsports Ford was on the top of the speed charts at 199.800 miles per hour. Austin Dillon was second at 199.769 mph in his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Third was 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, with Johnson and Paul Menard completing the top five.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended the session 17th, with Danica Patrick 28th.