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Multi-car wreck throws wrench into Daytona test

January 11, 2013, Staff and wire report, NASCAR.com

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Major crash sidelines 10 cars in Preseason Thunder

The first "Big One" for the sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup Series model sidelined 10 cars in Friday afternoon's second session of Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway.

The multi-car wreck, which occurred almost an hour into the four-hour afternoon session, was triggered by contact between Marcos Ambrose and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the front of the pack. By the time the smoke and dirt cleared on the backstretch, 10 cars were headed to the garage.

The cars of Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Regan Smith, Greg Biffle and Aric Almirola were the others involved.

The wreck temporarily halted the first major drafting sessions of the 2013 season on the 2.5-mile track. Biffle was one of several drivers to find the new car a handful in traffic, saving his car from a near spin at the exit of turn four earlier in the session.

With rear deck lids in short supply and no backup cars available for teams other than Edwards' Roush Fenway Racing outfit, the wreck effectively ended testing for most drivers involved.

"I didn't see anything," said Keselowski who was near the front of the pack when the wreck occurred. "I saw cars smoking and wrecked in front of me. I think I ran into the back of the 43 (Almirola), and someone ran into the back of me. That's just the way this deal is. It's unfortunate, but sometimes you've got to wreck 'em to learn."

For those, including Earnhardt, who test sessions didn't end with the wreck, there won't be any more pack drafting when drivers return on Saturday.
 
"We'll go back to single-car runs," Earnhardt said. "I don't think anybody wants any more drafting after that. So we'll just go back to running single-car runs. We're probably going to be here till 5 o'clock tomorrow working on our cars. We've got to find a little more speed."

In the morning session, Jeff Burton surged to the top of the Day 2 testing leaderboard in his No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet SS, clocking a lap of 194.805 mph. He was followed closely on the speed list by Childress teammates Kevin Harvick (193.557) and Paul Menard, who ranked fourth-fastest at 192.963.

Defending Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth, who topped Thursday's opening session, was third-fastest early Friday at 193.121 mph in the fastest Toyota. Biffle ranked fifth overall on the speed chart with the fastest Ford at 192.719.

The first session was interrupted by two caution flags, including the first crash of the sixth-generation car. Dave Blaney smacked the outside wall on the exit of turn 2, damaging the right side of the No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy. Blaney was uninjured, but the incident brought an end to testing for the single-car team. The other caution flew for debris.

The three-day test concludes Saturday with seven more hours of on-track activity scheduled.

NASCAR Preseason Thunder -- Practice 4 results
Friday, Jan. 11

Pos
Car
Driver Team
Time
Speed
Lap #
# Laps
-Fastest
-Next
1
21
Trevor Bayne Wood Bros Racing Ford
45.079
199.650
4
39
---.---
---.---
2
22
Joey Logano Penske Racing Ford
45.156
199.309
6
21
-0.077
-0.077
3
56
Martin Truex Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
45.178
199.212
6
26
-0.099
-0.022
4
55
Mark Martin Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
45.184
199.186
3
23
-0.105
-0.006
5
99
Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford
45.188
199.168
6
27
-0.109
-0.004
6
43
Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
45.207
199.084
6
23
-0.128
-0.019
7
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
45.226
199.001
6
55
-0.147
-0.019
8
16
Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
45.236
198.957
6
44
-0.157
-0.010
9
18
Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
45.236
198.957
6
33
-0.157
-0.000
10
13
Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford
45.239
198.943
6
55
-0.160
-0.003
11
2
Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Ford
45.243
198.926
5
25
-0.164
-0.004
12
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
45.299
198.680
7
41
-0.220
-0.056
13
9
Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
45.306
198.649
9
25
-0.227
-0.007
14
15
Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
45.326
198.562
7
19
-0.247
-0.020
15
5
Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
45.336
198.518
4
22
-0.257
-0.010
16
78
Kurt Busch Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
45.347
198.470
7
37
-0.268
-0.011
17
1
Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
45.358
198.421
7
19
-0.279
-0.011
18
27
Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
45.372
198.360
7
45
-0.293
-0.014
19
14
Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
45.605
197.347
9
47
-0.526
-0.233
20
33
Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
45.606
197.342
3
33
-0.527
-0.001
21
51
Regan Smith Phoenix Racing Chevrolet
45.746
196.739
2
15
-0.667
-0.140
22
24
Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
45.804
196.489
4
15
-0.725
-0.058
23
29
Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.596
193.150
3
28
-1.517
-0.792
24
20
Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
46.606
193.108
14
23
-1.527
-0.010
25
31
Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.626
193.025
6
26
-1.547
-0.020
26
10
Danica Patrick Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.650
192.926
17
26
-1.571
-0.024
27
39
Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.772
192.423
20
20
-1.693
-0.122
28
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
46.779
192.394
30
30
-1.700
-0.007
29
48
Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
46.910
191.857
29
67
-1.831
-0.131
30
38
Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford
47.205
190.658
19
22
-2.126
-0.295
31
47
Bobby Labonte JTG Racing Toyota
47.862
188.041
17
32
-2.783
-0.657
32
83
T. Kvapil / D. BK Racing Toyota
48.754
184.600
26
26
-3.675
-0.892

 

NASCAR Preseason Thunder -- Practice 3 results
Friday, Jan. 11
Pos
Car
Driver Team
Time
Speed
Lap #
# Laps
-Fastest
-Next
1
31
Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.200
194.805
8
10
---.---
---.---
2
29
Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.498
193.557
8
12
-0.298
-0.298
3
20
Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
46.603
193.121
12
12
-0.403
-0.105
4
27
Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.641
192.963
5
20
-0.441
-0.038
5
16
Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
46.700
192.719
2
21
-0.500
-0.059
6
18
Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
46.707
192.691
11
11
-0.507
-0.007
7
78
Kurt Busch Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
46.735
192.575
2
14
-0.535
-0.028
8
9
Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
46.743
192.542
15
15
-0.543
-0.008
9
10
Danica Patrick Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.752
192.505
2
18
-0.552
-0.009
10
33
Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
46.772
192.423
5
5
-0.572
-0.020
11
43
Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
46.805
192.287
17
17
-0.605
-0.033
12
24
Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
46.842
192.135
12
12
-0.642
-0.037
13
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
46.905
191.877
23
23
-0.705
-0.063
14
56
Martin Truex Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
46.919
191.820
2
23
-0.719
-0.014
15
39
Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.926
191.791
7
28
-0.726
-0.007
16
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
46.930
191.775
21
22
-0.730
-0.004
17
21
Trevor Bayne Wood Bros Racing Ford
46.975
191.591
12
15
-0.775
-0.045
18
14
Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet
46.980
191.571
15
15
-0.780
-0.005
19
5
Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
46.994
191.514
2
15
-0.794
-0.014
20
55
Mark Martin Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
47.005
191.469
10
10
-0.805
-0.011
21
22
Joey Logano Penske Racing Ford
47.053
191.274
14
18
-0.853
-0.048
22
15
Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
47.058
191.253
14
19
-0.858
-0.005
23
51
Regan Smith Phoenix Racing Chevrolet
47.058
191.253
13
13
-0.858
-0.000
24
1
Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
47.073
191.192
19
19
-0.873
-0.015
25
13
Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford
47.086
191.140
15
18
-0.886
-0.013
26
99
Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford
47.098
191.091
12
12
-0.898
-0.012
27
48
Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
47.124
190.985
14
15
-0.924
-0.026
28
2
Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Ford
47.126
190.977
3
19
-0.926
-0.002
29
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
47.184
190.743
3
18
-0.984
-0.058
30
95
Scott Speed Leavine Family Racing Ford
47.478
189.561
10
10
-1.278
-0.294
31
38
Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford
47.508
189.442
2
13
-1.308
-0.030
32
36
Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet
47.713
188.628
6
9
-1.513
-0.205
33
47
Bobby Labonte JTG Racing Toyota
47.978
187.586
2
8
-1.778
-0.265
34
83
Kvapil/Reutimann BK Racing Toyota
48.905
184.030
5
5
-2.705
-0.927

Contributing: Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service