As was to be expected, there was a crash at the Daytona 500, but this one occurred fairly early in the race and took out several big names.
Lap 32, first significant wreck of day takes out a half-dozen drivers, including Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart.— Eugene Frenette (@GeneFrenette) February 24, 2013
NASCAR Stats had more information on the drivers involved:
Cars officially involved in the accident - 18, 5, 29, 42, 14, 2, 1, 13, 78 #NASCAR— NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) February 24, 2013
For those of you who haven't memorized the numbers of all the drivers, that's Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears and Kurt Busch.
In other words, this crash took out several major competitors. One who will be particularly heartbroken is Stewart, who will remain winless at this race.
He told the Fox crew after the crash (via Dustin Long of Sports Illustrated), "If I didn't tell you I was heartbroken...I'd be lying to you."
With the new Gen-6 cars, most folks expected to see some wrecks as drivers acclimated themselves to the new model. After Saturday afternoon's horrific crash that involved 12 cars and ended with 28 spectators injured, there were fears that history might repeat itself in the Daytona 500.
Obviously, this crash wasn't nearly as bad as that, but the star power involved in this particular wreck will play a major factor in the outcome.
One person who may end up benefiting from the misfortune of those involved is Danica Patrick, who at the time of writing was in 16th place just after taking a pit stop. The woman who made history for winning the pole was very much in the running.