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February 17, 2019

‘Big One’ erupts late in Daytona 500 bringing out red flag

The ‘Big One’ hit late in Sunday’s 61st running of the Daytona 500, collecting multiple cars in the melee with 10 laps to go.

The incident occurred on the backstretch when Paul Menard, driving the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, clipped the back of the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota, driven by Matt DiBenedetto. That set off a massive wreck with cars spinning in all directions.

Both drivers were running in the top five when the incident took place, spoiling a potentially big day for the upstart teams.

“I am not really sure what happened,” Menard, who finished 29th, said. “I hooked the 95. I was trying to get to his outside and he was kind of in the middle and he went to the outside and was going back and forth. The 12 had a big run so I jumped up in front of him and hooked the 95.”

DiBenedetto led 49 laps and had a competitive car and was naturally disappointed with the resulting wreck, which led to a 28th-place finish for him. However, he tried to stay positive in his post-race interview:

Stage 2 winner Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez and Jimmie Johnson were among the drivers involved in the wreck.

Other drivers in the wreck were: Matt Tifft, David Ragan, Ryan Preece, Chris Buescher, Daniel Hemric, Chase Elliott, William Byron, Ty Dillon, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson.

Here are looks from the in-car cameras for some of those drivers as they tried to navigate through the wreckage: