Well, that didn’t take long.
Just minutes into the opening practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway, a five-car crash forced a number of top contenders to roll out their backup cars. The wreck was triggered when former series champions Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch got their signals crossed at the exit of Turn Four.
Kenseth swung his car low while exiting the turn and made contact with Busch, before spinning his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing/Home Depot Toyota. Also involved were the cars of Carl Edwards, Mark Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya, with Busch, Martin and Edwards doing sufficient damage to require the use of backup cars.
Kenseth called the crash, "100 percent driver error, my driver error,” adding that the wreck, “didn't have to do with the (new) race cars. I had no idea anybody was there. (Busch) had a run at the same time and I came down in front of him. He couldn't get slowed up and stay off me, so it was just 100 percent my fault."
Busch, whose Furniture Row Racing team has only three cars at its disposal for Speedweeks 2013, offered a similar assessment. “Matt went high and I think he expected me to go with him,” said Busch. “I went low and Matt came across our nose.
"It's tough," he said. "A lot of hard work goes into these cars and six weeks of preparation can be trashed in six laps.
Martin, who has been battling a head and chest cold this week, called being forced to a backup car, “not really devastating. MWR brought plenty of really good racecars, and it's not the last tore-up racecar we'll see during Speedweeks."