Massive wreck takes out several Daytona 500 contenders early

It didn’t take long for a massive wreck to take out several top contenders for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Ryan Newman's view of the multi-car accident
Ryan Newman's view of the multi-car accident
Multi-car accident
Rain clouds
Dale Earnhardt tribute lap
Multi-car accident: William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta, Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Mustang Kohler Generators, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally, Jamie McMurray, Spire Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro AdventHealth, Chris Buescher, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Mustang Fastenal, Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Smithfield, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry, David Ragan, Front Row Motorsports, Ford Mustang
Multi-car accident

Entering Turn 3 on Lap 14 off 200, Kyle Busch got into the back of Christopher Bell, who then hit the rear of Aric Almirola.

Almirola’s No. 10 Ford got loose and turned up the track and into a line of on-coming cars which triggered a massive pile-up.

Among those who suffered extensive damage and were knocked out of contention for the race win were pole-winner Alex Bowman, Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez, David Ragan and Ryan Newman.

 

“We were just getting pushed too hard too early. It’s a long, long race,” Almirola said. “Man, we were in a fine position, just sitting there riding around in the top two, three and (Bell) just came with a big run and hit me really hard in a bad spot.

“It turned me to the right and tore up our race car and ended our Daytona 500 way too early.”

Ragan, whose 500 race is his only planned start of the 2021 season, called the situation “unfortunate.”

“I’ve never met a driver that said, ‘Hey, I’m going to start this 500-mile race and just be super-aggressive.’ We all talk about give and take and making it to the end, but it seems nobody does that once they get out there,” he said.

“It’s frustrating that everybody is pushing and shoving and I just saw (Bowman) get turned and whenever someone wrecks in the top five or six it tears up a lot of cars.”

Adding to the misery for many of the drivers, a lightning strike in the area forced a red flag and minimum 30-minute hold before some of the damaged vehicles had even made it to the garage.

Less than 45 minutes since the green flag waved at 3:06 p.m. ET, only 15 laps had been completed in the 200-lap event and 17 cars had been involved in a total of two accidents.

“Obviously, we had a really fast Camaro. The Chevrolets were working good together; hopefully a Chevy still ends up in Victory Lane,” Bowman said.

“Hats off to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports; they built some really fast race cars. Hate that superspeedway racing works out that way sometimes, but that’s just part of the game.”

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