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Seven-car wreck puts Daytona 500 practice under red flag (VIDEO)

Feb 19, 2014, 4:51 PM EDT

Parker Kligerman, Paul Menard AP

Wednesday’s afternoon practice for the Daytona 500 has ended under a red flag after a seven-car pileup that occurred on the front straight, near the flagstand and start/finish line, and affecting the catch fencing on the outside of the track. The second practice will occur starting at 6:30 p.m. ET, after track repairs.

Contact between Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano, who incidentally were the two that collided in Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited and caused a major crash in that race, triggered today’s one as well.

Paul Menard was spun up into the outside retaining wall, collected by rookies Parker Kligerman and Ryan Truex, with Dave Blaney in behind it. Kligerman’s car was sent up on top of Menard’s, and then went onto its roof after being hit by Truex. Trevor Bayne was also involved to round out the seven-car incident, but sustained the least amount of damage.

Kligerman’s accident marked the second of the day for the up-and-coming Swan Racing team, whose other driver Cole Whitt lost control earlier in the session, in a wreck that also collected Brian Vickers and Casey Mears.

Here’s a video of the wreck, via FOX Sports’ YouTube channel:

All seven drivers involved in the accident spoke to FOX Sports TV afterwards, and all were checked and released from the infield care center.

“I thought the 20 (Kenseth) was going to the bottom, and it hooked them, that’s partially my fault,” Logano said. “I was working a bit too hard there. Thought he was going to the bottom. That’s just what happens. Unfortunate a lot of cars got torn up there.”

Here was Kenseth’s take: “It kind of started we were running two-wide, and I couldn’t clear the 27. It got tight into (Turn) 3. We all lost a lot of speed. I was trying to stay straight. Kind of clipped my right rear, and it seemed to trigger the wreck.”

Menard, Kligerman and Truex offered their input as well, after the accident.

“I know what happened, the front half of the 20 got squirrely looking,” Menard said. “It turns out Joey was bump drafting him in the pack … and I guess that’s the end result. Fortunately Parker is OK.”

Kligerman’s take: “They slaved on that race car. To have a quick race car in the draft, I was trying to back out of the draft, pack it up and wait until tomorrow. The 22 was being overly aggressive. He’s supposed to be a veteran. Supposed to be the best of the best, but he was racing like the end of the Daytona 500. I don’t quite understand that one. We’ll have to look at our backup car situation.”

And Truex’s: “We were running well in the draft. I was right behind the 22 for a while. I checked up, and I got hit from behind, and that was all I could do. We didn’t deserve that all. Then the 30 was on my windshield. It was a brand new car. We have to race our way in. A shame we lost a really good car. That’s a big wreck for practice.”

Meanwhile, former Daytona 500 champion Bayne and near-2012-winner Blaney said they now face an uphill challenge just to make the race.

“We had a huge run up the middle, and we are trying to figure out what’s working,” Bayne said. “Having to make the race, we need to be careful. That hole closed up. Not a ton of damage but we’ll miss the rest of this practice.”

Blaney, with Randy Humphrey’s team, is in a worse spot with no backup car available at the moment.

“I couldn’t see what started it,” he said. “I was coming in behind Ryan Truex, he checked up. By the time I got checked up… yeah, (that was) bad.

“I told myself I don’t need to be out here. We’ve got no backup car. It got us. At this moment (the dream of making the field) is. I don’t know what Randy Humphrey’s got in mind. We’ll see.”

  1. indycarseries500 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Shame so many underfunded cars get tore up by a couple powerhouse guys screwing around in practice.

  2. bigmattintheboot - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    The big tracks are getting to be such a joke nowadays. Tony’s postrace interview said it all, would be better to have a figure 8 instead. The Gen6 kicks ass and is stupid fast on smaller tracks and road courses, but the aero/plate package at the superspeedways still suck balls. Pack racing is terrible and anyone who disagrees is a moron.

    • printergonebad - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:41 PM

      Is that the same interview where the Fat Man said all the fans want to see is wrecks?

    • spa67 - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      While I don’t think anyone who disagrees is a moron, I do agree with your sentiments. “Racing” on the plate tracks is nothing more than 200 MPH Russian Roulette.

      I’ll “watch” the race, by DVRing it and running through it in about 15 min skipping all the commercials. NASCAR has become so obsessed with photo-finishes and “game 7 moments” they forget about the other 499 miles.

  3. thetooloftools - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    People do want to see wrecks. This is turning into an NBA “DON’T TOUCH THE SUPERSTARS SPORT”.
    Rubbin’ is racin’ and now the cars are “touch me and I’m gone”
    I Loved the days when pit crew members were beating the trunk air dam up or down with rubber mini sledge hammers.

  4. thetooloftools - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    People do want to see wrecks.
    This is turning into an NBA “DON’T TOUCH THE SUPERSTARS SPORT”.
    Rubbin’ is racin’ and now these cars are “touch me and I’m gone”
    I Loved the days when pit crew members were beating the trunk air dam up or down with rubber mini sledge hammers.
    The speeds may have been slower, but it it was great racing.

  5. joefla47 - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Nothing new for DAYTONA !!!!! Its National DEMOLITION WEEK !!!!

  6. spa67 - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    …and NASCAR wonders why it still gets zero respect from the core sporting press.

  7. timaug - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    logano, THE WATER BOTTLE THROWING LITTLE GIRL.

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